How Old Is Your Sunscreen? 3 Signs You Might Not Be Getting The Sun Protection You Think You Are

Lisa Cohen Lee

3 signs you might not be getting the sun protection you think you are

So you think you’re doing everything to practice safe sun protection, right? Sure, you’re applying your doctor recommended shot glass amount of it on your entire body, rubbing it on every two hours and staying under an umbrella whenever you can but, all that might not be doing you much good if your sunscreen formula is from last year.

Sunscreen can go bad, and with an old formula, the UV filters won’t be as effective at protecting you. Not only will you burn more easily, but you’ll be more susceptible to premature aging and skin cancer moles. Luckily, we've got this little test to make sure your sunscreen is up to snuff. Squeeze or spray out a few drops and then take a look for these 3 things:  


1. Consistency: If it’s looking and feeling extremely runny or gloppy, then the formula has changed. The sunscreen needs to spread evenly to ensure coverage and proper sun protection. Your best bet is to throw it out.

2. Crystallization: If the lotion has hard bits within it or seems at all kind of gritty, the active formula has worn out. It’s also pretty gross feeling and looking; time to pitch it.

3. Separation: Since the active UV filters are oil-soluble, any time that the oil has separated  from the main formula means you won’t be getting full sun protection. You may want to shake up the product to see if it blends back together. After, if it’s not divided when you spray it, you can still use it. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy a new bottle.  


BOTTOM LINE: Most sunscreens have a shelf life of about a year. Better to buy a new formula then risk getting burned.

When was the last time you checked your sunscreen? Have you ever used some you thought might not have worked? Share it with us in the comment section!

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