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Don't Get Burned: Sunscreens Lifespan

 

Is sunscreen from last year still good?  When does sunscreen expire?

 

We've all either had a sunburn or know someone who has been burned and it's no laughing matter.  Not only is a sunburn painful, it's potentially damaging to your body's largest external organ...your skin.

 

So how do you know if your sunscreen is still effective?  Inspect the packaging to locate an expiration date and stick to the manufacturers recommendation of when to dispose of the unused sunscreen.

 

But my sunscreen doesn't have an expiration date!  Not to worry.  Sunscreens are designed to remain at the original strength for up to three years.  This means if you remember when you purchased the sunscreen, you should be okay as long as you use the product within the three year window.

 

Consider This

 

The average application of sunscreen should be 1 oz., roughly the amount of a shot glass.  If you have a 4 oz (118 mil) bottle of sunscreen, you should use about one-fourth of the bottle for each application.

 

Sunscreen should be used generously and frequently to provide optimal protection which means a bottle of sunscreen shouldn't last long.

 

One and Done?

 

Sunscreen isn't a "One and Done" protection plan from UVA and UVB radiation.  It's also important to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to being in the sun.  Reapplication is just as important as the initial application and should be performed every two hours for continued protection.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sunscreen-expire/faq-20057957

 

https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens-explained

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