Just like all your other skincare products, sunscreens too, come with an expiry date. While most sunscreens have a shelf life of up to three years, not all of them are the same. If you’ve been following our advice and using a sunscreen every single day, you don’t have to worry about an expiry date because you’ll use up the product before that. But for those of you who still use sunscreen only when you’re going for a swim, we have bad news — it’s might be time to throw out your sunscreen.
If you find a sunscreen tube at the bottom of your old bag, don’t use it and expect it to protect you from the sun, because it won’t. Here’s what happens when you use expired sunscreen and how to tell if your sunscreen has gone bad.
Why you shouldn’t use an expired sunscreen
- It won’t give any protection
All skincare products are made using several active ingredients which tackle skin problems as well as offer protection from environmental aggressors such as the harmful rays of the sun. When a product expires, these ingredients no longer remain active; thereby, defeating the purpose. Wearing an expired sunscreen is like wearing no sunscreen; the SPF value also decreases majorly.
- It can harm your skin
Expired products may turn harmful for the skin; frequently touching its opening may transfer bacteria and germs to the sunscreen. When you stop using it for a long time, these bacteria breed and grow inside the tube. Wearing an expired sunscreen will only cause breakouts or worse, skin irritation.
Signs that your sunscreen has gone bad
Storing your sunscreen in a warm place, like your car or purse can make it expire faster. Regardless of the date mentioned on the packaging, it is a good idea to test the product before using. Here’s what you should notice:
Smell — If your sunscreen smells weird or funny then chances are it has been contaminated by bacteria.
Texture — If it appears clumpy or watery, that’s another sign that you need to toss your sunscreen and buy a new one.
Experts recommend replacing your sunscreen every year; and if you use it religiously and generously every day, it won’t last you past its expiration date.