Going on a beach trip soon? Make sure that your sunscreen hasn’t expired before you hit the waves. Typically, chemical-based sunscreen stays good for about three years at most, so if it has been less than three years since you purchased it, then your sunscreen is likely too still be effective and will hold up against strong UVA rays. There have been tests conducted on the effectiveness of conventional sunscreens years after they have been opened, and generally speaking, they are proven to work up to standard. Natural sunscreens, which are free of harsh chemicals and rely on active ingredients like zinc and titanium to protect skin, may not have as long a lifespan as conventional products. It’s best to use the expiration date printed on these products to gauge its optimal efficacy lifespan.
To extend the life of your sunscreen and make sure that it is working to the best of its ability, store it in a dark and cool place when you are not at the beach or by the pool. Avoid leaving it in the car or bathroom, both environments which have irregular temperatures.
The best way to avoid the conflict of not knowing whether your lotion expired is by applying the recommended amount when you are going in the sun. This makes it difficult for you to still have sunscreen left after just one year. The recommended amount is about 1 oz per application.
Thanks to expiration dates, it is very easy to tell if your sunscreen is expired or not.