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Will Last Summer's Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

Will Last Summer's Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

I'm sure you have a few bottles of sunscreen lying around from last Summer. Will they still protect your skin even though they're a year old?

Sunscreen can last up to three years if it was stored in a cool, dry place, with the cap tightly closed. If it wasn't, then it should be thrown out. Extreme heat can cause the active ingredients to deteriorate, so they'll be less effective at protecting you from the sun's harmful rays. If you're not sure, it's best to pick up a new bottle.

You can also check the sunscreen's expiration date. If it hasn't expired yet, check the lotion's consistency. If it is runny, gloppy, or smells weird, it has probably gone bad, and you should spring for some new sunscreen. It's really not worth saving money if your skin's health is compromised, right?


Join The Conversation
banana-boat banana-boat 9 years
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EastVillageAmy EastVillageAmy 9 years
You should wear your sunscreen year round, not just in summer. The sun's rays can do damage even on cloudy winter days. I'm a big fan of the Neutrogena Age Sheild for face right now, and their spray on for the body, so easy and quick to apply.
theglossarie theglossarie 9 years
I have learned this the hard way! I've also gotten hives (ick!) from old sunscreen. Better safe than sorry :) New bottles every year for this sun baby!
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I always buy new sunscreen, better safe than sorry. I just went to Rite Aid monday and bought some more. I now use Banana Boat Sunwear(?) Oil-Free SPF30 for Faces, Neutrogena SPF55 w/ Helioplex lotion, Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Spray SPF70 (body) for when I'm swimming or working outdoors.
kia kia 9 years
Hey fitsugar. I don't know where to submit a question but I have a sunblock question. I usually do a spf 30 for my face and neck and a separate 30 for the rest of my body. However I am working outdoors in the sun at altitude and have had to up my spf to a 50. At this level there is generally a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and I was wondering if you could do any digging around about the nano and micro particle debate? I have heard concerns about nano particle issues with absorption but don't know if this is a myth. I cover up and wear a big hat but the sun does still reflect off rock on the ground and hit my face so I need some sun protection in the form of lotion.
emalove emalove 9 years
I always buy a new one every summer, just in case.
jessielynn657 jessielynn657 9 years
I get a new sunscreen every year because I'm paranoid if it will have the same protection. Also it seems like every year there seems to be a difference in what the new skin protection formula fad is. This year they seem to really be pushing the new uva/b formula combos.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I buy new stuff every year because I use the entire bottle every summer. And yeah, it DOES break down over time...once, my husband and I were at my inlaws and he went out to bale hay for a few hours. I told him to put sunscreen on and he grabbed some stuff that my mother in law had sitting in the cupboard for about 5 years (she doesn't believe that ANYTHING expires). Well, he got burned pretty bad because the stuff was pretty much useless. So yeah, check the date and if you're not sure, toss it.
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 9 years
I got new sunscreen because last years was all runny. That's no good, so I got some new stuff, spf 55 and spf 80 haha yeah its a bit much I know.
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I need to buy some new sunblock, but it is really difficult to find ones in high spf from companies that don't test on animals. This makes me grumpy.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I can still use mine. It doesn't expire until December.
lolababy575 lolababy575 9 years
I had no idea sunscreen could go bad! I'll definitely buy a new tube of sunscreen for the summer!
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