We are inching closer to summer and the warmth and sunshine it brings. You may be in the middle of planning a vacation or many trips to the local hills for hikes and bike rides. However it is you want your summer to look, we assume you want it to look good on you. That’s why, here, we want to discuss the matter of your sunscreen and whether or not it’s still doing its job.
Sunscreen Can Go Bad, Did You Know?
If this comes as a surprise to you, don’t feel like you’ve missed something. Most people aren’t strict about keeping skincare products in their medicine cabinet for only so long. If you’re like many people, you may have products under your bathroom sink that you can’t even remember buying! If one of those products happens to be sunscreen, we say toss it. Here’s why. The FDA regulates that sunscreens, both chemical and physical types, must maintain some degree of efficacy for three years. What degree? We’re not quite sure. That in itself is a good reason to take extra care in using sunscreen before it can break down and lose its power to prevent sun damage. The SPF 50 sunscreen that you were wearing three years ago may be more like an SPF 30 today. If it’s a physical sunscreen, some of the ingredients may have broken down to such a degree that you aren’t getting a consistent barrier on your skin.
How can You Know?
The problem with sunscreen and the issue of expiration is that it may be difficult to tell. Not all sunscreens have a clearly-printed expiration on the tube or bottle. Perhaps it was present on the packaging, but that has long been thrown out. So what can you do to vet the efficacy of your potentially-expired sunscreen? Look at it. Squeeze a small amount of the product onto your hand or a dish. Are the ingredients separating, with one part appearing oily or watery and another looking white and creamy? It’s expired. Does the sunscreen look lumpy or grainy? Expired. Does it smell odd? Not necessarily expired, but probably laden with bacteria that entered the container via someone’s hands.
Can I use Expired Sunscreen?
It is not recommended that anyone use expired sunscreen. Doing so creates a clear risk for sunburn and sun damage. Outside of that, there is a potential for skin irritation, breakouts, even infection.
Why put your skin at risk? Check your sunscreen carefully before you have to rely on it for adequate UV protection. When it’s time to purchase new sunscreen, check out professional-grade products like those developed by Dr. Fante. Also, schedule a visit to our Denver medical spa to receive outstanding care that can address sun damage from previous outings. Contact us today to schedule your visit.