Sun & Skin News

Ask the Expert: Does a Sunscreen Stay Effective After Its Expiration Date?

By Skin Cancer Foundation • July 31, 2018


Q. Does a Sunscreen Stay Effective After Its Expiration Date?

Sunscreen does lose its effectiveness over time, and you need to respect the expiration date. I have seen numerous sunburns on patients who realized too late that their sunscreen was expired. If you can’t find an expiration date on the product you’re using, you should mark the month and year you purchased it. It should be good for about three years after that date. If you’re continuously using a bottle of sunscreen for several days, such as on vacation, and reapplying often, an eight-ounce bottle of sunscreen provides enough coverage for two to three days at the beach for one person. Use it up!

About the Expert:
Rutledge Forney, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Dermatology Affiliates in Atlanta, Georgia.

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