The One Thing You Don't Know About Sunscreen Is Worth Paying Attention To This Summer

So, you’ve been reading up on the dos and don’ts of sunscreen application, especially now that it’s plenty hot enough to be spending some time in the great outdoors. But, if you’re anything like me, you feel like there’s always more to learn when it comes to best sun protection practices. So, what’s the one thing you still don’t know about sunscreen? Well, it’s probably that it can, in fact, expire. And not only that, but you’re probably helping to speed up the process.

Dermatologist Lisa Garner and Professor of Dermatology David J. Leffell told the Huffington Post that you need to be paying extra close attention to your sunscreen expiration date and the best storing methods, as stated on the back of the bottle. Apparently, storing your sunscreen in your trunk, glove compartment, or other places that experience very high heats can be hampering your SPF’s effectiveness, Leffell told the publication.

So, if you’re guilty of using a sunscreen that’s been in the bottom of your beach bag for who knows how long, you’re definitely not the only one. But, this is yet another sunscreen-related bad habit that you need to be better about this summer. Once that expiration date has passed, so has the effectiveness of your sunblock. And I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to spend time applying sunscreen that’s not working. What’s the point in that?

Here’s a checklist you need to go through to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck in terms of sun protection.

1. Check The Expiration Date

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According to Mayo Clinic, sunscreen can last for up to three years if stored correctly, so just be sure you check the expiration date before using.

2. Write Down The Date Of Purchase

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If your bottle doesn't have an expiration date, be sure to write down the date you purchased it somewhere on the bottle.

3. Buy Smaller Amounts

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Buying sunscreen in bulk may seem like a cheaper option, but if you honestly don't think you're going to be able to use it all before it expires, you should consider buying smaller bottles to ensure effectiveness.

4. Store In A Cool Place

You may have a tendency to throw your sunscreen and then leave it there. That's fine when you're at the beach, but then when you leave your beach bag outside or in your garage until your next beach trip, that's not good for making your sunblock last. So, when you're done using it for the day, be sure to store it inside until the next time you head outside.

5. Check For Changes In Texture

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Another surefire way to tell your sunscreen has expired is if there are any "changes in color or consistency." According to the Mayo Clinic article, you should discard any SPF lotion that has changed over time.

With these tips, you'll be able to have more effective sun protection all summer long. So, go on and live it up!

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