How Often Should You Replace Your Sunscreen

how often should you replace your suscreen

In my last post, I shared with you why wearing sunscreen is so important. Few years ago, when I really started to understand importance of sunscreen, I always wondered how long can I keep using it before it becomes ineffective? Most of my moisturizers and foundations that I currently use include SPF in them, which safes me time in my skin care routine. I personally, use up all of my creams, lotions with SPF within a year. I can’t imagine going outside without protecting my skin first. After some research, I educated myself on sunscreen effectiveness.

Sunscreens are designed to remain at original strength for up to three years. This means that you can use leftover sunscreen from one year to the next.

Some sunscreens include an expiration date — a date indicating when they’re no longer effective. Discard sunscreen that is past its expiration date. If you buy sunscreen that doesn’t have an expiration date, write the date of purchase on the bottle. Also, discard sunscreen that is more than 3 years old, has been exposed to high temperatures or has obvious changes in color or consistency.

What happens is, when sunscreens expire, the chemicals begin to degrade and separate, making them less effective. Eventually, old sunscreens will crystallize, separate, and may have a foul odor. Always check the expiration date on sunscreen before you purchase it. Keep in mind that extreme temperatures can also make sunscreen become less effective, despite its expiration date.

Keep in mind, however, that if you use sunscreen generously and frequently, a bottle of sunscreen shouldn’t last from one year to the next.

P.S.: By the way, product featured in my picture above is one of my favorite sunscreens. Stay tune for another great post, where I’ll share with you “My Favorite Current Sunscreens”.

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  1. January 25, 2015 / 11:10 pm

    This is really good to know. I rarely have my sunscreen for longer than a year or two. I really need to get into the habit of using it on my body and not just my face. I love my Olay moisturizer because it cuts down on the time. Thanks for sharing!

  2. January 26, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    I was forgetful in the past too when it came down to applying sunscreen. Didn't think it mattered that much! But then, I started working in dermatology and started seeing different skin problems that people have and realized what a difference sunscreen can make ♡

  3. January 27, 2015 / 3:33 pm

    This is such a great post, I usually try to replace my sunscreen twice a year, I just don't trust it. Shiseido makes some of my fave sunscreen too!!!

  4. April 1, 2015 / 12:38 am

    Thank you Caroline! Shiseido is truly a great sunscreen.

  5. April 9, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    With summer coming up this really is a great thing to know!! I personally go through way too much sunscreen during the summer, but better safe than sorry 🙂

  6. April 11, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Since I moved to Florida, I've been going through sunscreen like crazy. So I always have few bottles in my house. But for those, who live in much colder climates, they most likely don't use it as often. So I thought I can help with some helpful info.