Self: Here’s how to tell if your sunscreen has expired

Cosmetic scientist Kelly Dobos gives detailed instructions the shelf life of sunscreen

Cosmetic scientist Kelly Dobos explains how to determine whether sunscreen has expired, and which sunscreens to use.

You might not get sick from using expired sunscreen, but you could get a nasty burn, says Kelly Dobos, cosmetic chemist and adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.

Dobos told Self Magazine that there are several ways to tell if your sunscreen is expired,  pointing first to any obvious month/date/year expiration dates on the sunscreen container. However, those dates can sometimes be hard to find. The article advises consumers to look on the bottom of the container or at the seamed end of the tube. If there is no expiration date, Dobos advises to use the three years from purchase rule of thumb or perform a visual test to see if the sunscreen is clumpy or looks different than it did with first use. If it does, it’s best to toss it out.

“If you can see a distinct oil layer or your lotion is no longer a consistently creamy emulsion, it’s likely no longer good,” she says.

Dobos was also a featured guest on WVXU on the topic of what type of sunscreen is the best to use.

Listen to the WVXU interview:  Tips for picking the right sunscreen for you and your family

Read the Self article on sunscreen expiration dates.

Featured image at top courtesy of Unsplash/Federico Giampieri

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here

Related Stories