It’s the hottest day in quite a while. The sun’s beating down and shows no sign of letting up, so you head inside and look for your sunscreen (and take off your socks with sandals, while you’re at it). Better safe than sorry, right? However, one question remains. Has your sunscreen expired since the last time you used it? After all, it’s been a while. But how do you know?
Of course, it’s never a good idea to use expired products, but using expired sunscreen can be more dangerous than using any other type of product. When your sunscreen expires, it won’t protect you from the sun’s rays, so you’ll be at increased risk of damage (via Marie Claire). However, it’s usually pretty easy to tell whether your sunscreen has expired or not — and if you want to be on the safe side, why not invest in some more sunscreen from the store? You’ll have peace of mind knowing that it’s definitely still fine to use! There are plenty of false facts that go around about sunscreen, but if you want the truth, here’s how to keep your sunscreen from expiring.
Keep sunscreen away from direct heat and sun
Per Marie Claire, the first thing you should do is cast your mind back to when you bought the sunscreen. Okay, so that might be easier said than done, but all products not stamped with a clear expiration date are required by the FDA to be okay to use for a minimum of three years. If you bought your sunscreen less than three years ago, you should be safe. However, it might be a good idea, going forward, to write your date of purchase on the site of your sunscreen with a marker — this way, you’ll know for sure when you bought it, so you can use it for the next three years.
If you want to help maximize the use of your sunscreen, simply keep it away from direct sun or heat, and ideally in a dark place. Do this, and you’ll be able to use your sunscreen for as long as possible. Even if you’re outside, if you can at least protect your sunscreen a little by wrapping it in a towel or keeping it in the shade, this can help it reach its expected lifespan (via Cheat Sheet).
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