Are you using expired sunscreen? You can still get sunburn.

4 Min Read

Summer is quickly approaching and the season will bring longer days with more sunlight. In 2011, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention created National Sunscreen Day to remind Americans to wear sunscreen and sunscreen when spending time outdoors, especially under the hot summer sun. National Sunscreen Day is May 27.

Ten years have passed since National Sunscreen Day began, but dermatologists remain concerned about rising rates of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that this number of melanoma cases will increase increase by 7% in 2024. A study from Advanced Dermatology provides more insight into today’s skin cancer resurgence. In 2022, Advanced dermatology surveyed more than a thousand Americans. Participants reported, among other things, how often they wear sunscreen and how long they spend outdoors. 34% of respondents reported that they rarely or never wear sunscreen. But even if you wear sunscreen, you can still get sunburned if your sunscreen is outdated.

When you know how sunscreen works and when it expires, you can rest assured that you are using safe and effective products.

How does sunscreen work?

Sunscreen and sunscreen are available in lotion, spray and stick forms. Both sunscreen and sunscreen protect your skin from sun damage, but sunscreen – as the name suggests – blocks your skin from damage by reflecting the UV rays. Sunscreen filters UV rays, but sunscreen cannot completely block your skin from 100% of UV rays. Sunscreen with a higher SPF (sun protection factor) gives your skin better protection.

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Does sunscreen expire?

Sunscreen and sunscreen can help reduce the risk of skin cancer and skin damage from the harsh rays of the sun. But your sun products may not provide you with the protection you expect. In the Advanced Dermatology report, 52% of participants did not check the expiration date of their sunscreen or sunblock.

Sunscreen and sunscreen contain a combination of minerals and chemicals that work together to reflect the sun’s rays or help prevent UV from being absorbed by your skin. Over time, these ingredients separate. The sunscreen may change color, become watery, or smell bad. These are warning signs that the sunscreen or sunblock has expired.

Some companies label the expiration date directly on the bottom, top or side of the package. However, customers may not always be able to find an expiration date on the packaging. Why do some sun products have an expiration date and others do not? The FDA does not require manufacturers to print an expiration date on a shelf-stable product three years. If you are unsure about your sunscreen or sunscreen, write a note on the package with the date you purchased it. Then throw it away three years after you buy it or when you notice any changes in color, odor, or texture.

You can enjoy the sun without absorbing UV radiation. If you have any concerns about your sun exposure or your sunscreen products, please contact a dermatologist.

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