Here in Pamper we really can’t stress out how important it is to apply sunscreen. It helps protect our skin against UVA and UVB rays, the two rays that damage our skin prematurely. But if you have ever slathered yourself in SPF 50 only to find your skin turn red and burned to a crisp, this could be a sign that your sunscreen is no longer fit for use.
Just like any other beauty products, skincare products do go bad, same goes to your sunscreen.
“Most sunscreens do expire and because of this a lot should come with an expiry date stamped on the box,”Dr Mervyn Patterson from Woodford Medical explain to Cosmopolitan. “It is very important not to ignore this as the chemicals do degrade and may well lose their protective effect.”
What if you’ve toss away the box that is stamped with an expiration date? As a rule of thumb Dr Patterson says most sun tan lotions will last for ‘at least a year of use’.
Below is a list of tell-tale signs that it’s time to consider stop using the sunscreen.
- The formula will “start to separate”
- If the texture has changed from when you first purchased it, it’s likely out of date
- The cream will also start to develop a strange odour
- If your cream irritates your skin, it has likely gone off
Dr Patterson continues, “If it’s looking different in terms of texture or smell from when you first bought it, then things may not be well with the product. In this case, it’s best to simply discard.”
Using sunscreen that has expired might not cause a severe skin disease. But if you accidentally use an expired sunscreen, it’s likely you’ll burn and the formula itself could cause skin irritation and other reactions. “If a sunscreen product has deteriorated, then in theory there is a risk of chemical alteration of the ingredients,” says Dr Patterson.
What cause sunscreen to expire?
Most sun creams have been designed to last for quite a while. “However if sunscreen containers are left in direct sunlight even the most stable of formulations can degrade,” says Dr Patterson.
Light and humidity can spoil your sunscreen. The best place to store it is somewhere shaded, preferably cool and dry.
Dr Patterson continues, “Storage is important. Leaving your sunscreen baking in the sun, whether it’s on the beach, or in the back window of your car, may trigger degradation of the formula, and that renders the product useless.”
– Cover Image: Getty Image