How to determine the effectiveness of sunscreensThe effectiveness of sunscreens are determined by it's age and where you stored it during the winter.
It’s finally summer and you've got the cooler's stocked, your favorite swimsuit still fits (phew) and you grabbed the suntan lotion from last summer and threw it in your beach bag.
We often have several bottles of sunscreen laying around our house, car or boat and have no clue how old they are and if they're still any good.
Here are a few tips to make sure your sunscreen is still effective:
1. Look for an Expiration date.
- If you can’t find one – TOSS IT - a new one should cost less than $15
- The FDA requires sunscreens to remain at their original strength for at least three years.
- However, the manufacture date and the date you bought it are two different things. Sometime sunscreen sits on the drug store shelf for 6 months to a year.
- I suggest buying sunscreen at the beginning of each season when the store shelves have just been re-stocked with new merchandise.
- Use a permanent marker to note your own “use by” date.
- When stored at high temperature – the effectiveness of sunscreen decreases and become less stable and reliable.
- Replace your sunscreen if you kept it in your car, boat, garage, golf bag, or beach bag last year. It probably got very hot and has degraded.
- Keep your sunscreen in your cooler when you go to the beach, lake or any outdoor activity – It feels cool and refreshing when you re-apply.
- Do not buy sunscreen in bulk unless you and your family go through a couple of bottles of sunscreen a season. That is the only time it’s a good deal – sorry, Costco and Sam’s Club shoppers.