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How To Know Whether Your Bottle Of Sunscreen Has Expired
We can always rely on our favourite beach bag to come equipped with last year’s bottle of SPF, sitting right where we left it some 10 months ago as we finished up our very last beach day for the summer.
And while we’re thrilled to see our trusty, pre-loved bottle of sunscreen, it’s important to give the expiration date a quick once over before slathering yourself head-to-toe in a formula that might provide little to no protection.
Why can using expired sunscreen be harmful?
For those of us who live life on the edge and think expiration dates are more of a gentle recommendation rather than a hard and fast rule, please don’t exercise this way of living when it comes to your sunscreen.
The risk you run when applying an out of date SPF is that you may leave your skin unprotected and exposed to harmful, cancer-causing UV rays.
SPF expiration dates mean they can no longer achieve the SPF rating advertised. This goes for both chemical and mineral sunscreens, which will either oxidise or degrade over time.
But, don’t always take the expiration date as gospel either
While most SPFs last up to three years (but, if you’re applying it as regularly as we hope, no bottle should be hanging around this long), there are varying factors that might tamper with this time frame.
If you’re keeping your tube stored in an area impacted by direct sun, (eg. a hot car or laid out on your towel day after day, hour after hour), the formula will spoil faster.
A few giveaways that your formula has become contaminated or spoilt are changes in the smell, texture or a pilling effect when applied.
We recommend replacing your bottle every few months just to be on the safe side.
Here are some of our absolute favourite SPFs for long-lasting protection:
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