Warm weather is almost here, so it’s time to start soaking up the sun and that means you’ll need to break out your sunscreen again. But if you have leftovers from last year, are they still safe to use? Here’s how you can tell.
Check the expiration date - The general rule is that sunscreens start to be less effective after three years, even if the package hasn’t ever been opened. Most of them come with an expiration date on the bottom of the container, but if you’re in doubt, throw it out because it might not be as potent and you don’t want to risk a sunburn.
Beware of open containers - If your sunscreen was only used once last summer and isn’t expired, it’s safe. But if it’s been stored in the hot trunk of your car for months, dump it because heat can degrade ingredients. Also toss it if it’s yellowish or has a clumpy or watery consistency.
Get organized - When you get your new SPF stash, store bottles in a cool, dark spot - so NOT in the bathroom where temperatures vary with hot showers.
Use it! - Sunscreen can’t protect you if you don’t wear it, so apply it and make sure you’re using enough for full coverage. That means an ounce of lotion for your body - that’s the size of a shot glass - and if you’re using a spray, apply until your skin glistens. And don’t forget the SPF lip balms!