How to Tell If Your SPF Has Gone Bad

Photo by Joe Pizzio on Unsplash

It’s time to dig in your cabinet and find that bottle of sunscreen you didn’t use up last summer, but be careful — it may have expired by now. How do you even know if your SPF is still good to go?

“Sunscreen absolutely expires and should never be used past its expiration date,” says Shari Marchbein, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Like food, sunscreen can go bad and the ingredients can spoil, leading to a watery consistency. They also become less effective, which means a significant increase in the potential for sunburns, sun damage, brown spots, and the risk for skin cancer development.”

This means that an expired product might not provide you the protection you expect from them. Additionally, they can do other damage to your skin, depending on the changes in consistency and texture.

Always make sure that cosmetic products you use, including sunscreen, haven’t gone bad before a use.