As the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out, everyone wants to get ready to bare a little skin, whether it’s to keep cool or top up their tan.
Of course, we all know that before we expose our skin to the sun’s rays, we need to load up on the SPF. But did you know that digging out last year’s sunscreen and slapping it on might not protect you? Sunscreen has an expiration date after which it loses efficacy.
Just like food, sunscreen doesn’t last forever. Over time, the ingredients lose their power and the sun protection factor diminishes. Using out of date sunscreen increases your risk of sun damage, skin ageing, pigmentation and even skin cancer.
When should I replace my sunscreen?
Most sunscreens are designed to last for three years, but you should always check the expiry date printed on the bottle. Unfortunately, some brands do not have a date marking, avoid these brands if you can or keep a note of when you purchased the bottle.
Several factors can cause sunscreen to lose its protective qualities even before the printed expiration date.
Overexposure to heat can cause the sunscreen to deteriorate more quickly. So if yours is stored in a warm place such as in the car, by the pool, or in a beach bag, be aware that it may no longer protect your skin.
Sunscreen that has been exposed to high heat should be replaced every few months to ensure your skin is protected.
Keep it clean
Bacteria can develop inside the sunscreen bottle if it comes into contact with dirty hands or the lid is left open frequently. If used, the infected sunscreen can lead to breakouts and pimples.
Check the texture
Regardless of the expiry date printed on the bottle, always check the texture of the sunscreen before you rely on its protection. If any of the following apply, do not use.
- The texture has changed, the sunscreen is clumping or splitting
- The sunscreen peels off the skin when applied
- It has changed colour or smell
Soothe the burn
If you do get sunburnt, applying Collagen Therapy Gel is a quick and effective remedy. It instantly cools the skin and reduces redness, but it will also prevent peeling and pigmentation in the long-term.
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