If you’re one of those people who tends only to wear sunscreen lotion on a hot day, there’s a good chance that your bottle of the stuff may have been sitting in the cupboard for a year or two. While all the dermatologists and sun protection experts say you should wear it every day, it’s good that you’re at least wearing it sometimes. However, how can you tell if it’s still in date?
That’s right, sunscreen goes out of date sometimes, although that’s not usually the case for at least 3 years after opening. However, it can happen, and when it does, its efficacy in protecting your skin can diminish significantly. In this article, we shine a spotlight on how to tell if yours is past its best.
How to Spot That Your Sunscreen Lotion Has Expired
The first thing that you may notice after opening up a bottle of sunscreen lotion that’s been stored away for some time is an unpleasant smell. This is likely to be just with chemical brands, but either way, it’s not supposed to have an odor like that, so we’d recommend consigning it to the trash if that’s the case.
Other signs to look for…
Separation of ingredients – If your lotion seems to have separated into different layers or seems watery, it’s another indication that it’s not going to protect you properly. However, if you have a mineral sunscreen, it could just be that it needs a good shake.
Colour change – Discoloration is another red flag, so watch out for it turning darker or having a yellowish tinge to it. If so, don’t use it.
Lumps or curdling – Texture can also change when sunscreen goes off, so it seems to have an uneven texture that stops it from spreading correctly has lumps in it, it might have curdled, making it much less effective at what it’s supposed to do.
Packaging wear and tear – If you find that the bottle itself has become compromised or the top doesn’t seal properly, we’re sorry to say that it’s likely gone bad. Oxidisation is something that will degrade your sunscreen’s constitution and again leave you unprotected.
Unusual stains or streaks – After application, if you find that your sunscreen doesn’t have even coloring and leaves unusual stains or streaks on your skin, its composition has been affected, so you can no longer trust what it’s doing for your skin.
The expiry date is in the past – A really obvious one to finish up with – check the expiration date! Products like these often have an expiry date printed on the bottle, so if that date is in the past, throw it away, as it’s not going to protect you as it should.
Don’t Use Expired Sunscreen Lotion – It Leaves You Vulnerable
We can’t overstate the importance of making sure that you don’t use out-of-date sunscreen. It’s effectively like going outside without any on at all, depending on how far past its best it has gone.
Keep all these symptoms in mind, and you’ll avoid heading out into the sun with a false sense of security and ending the day with a nasty bout of sunburn.