Sunscreen is a must-have during the hot months of summer. Crucial to combating sunburn and skin cancers, you could say that sunscreen is the single most important of skincare you own. Though many sunscreens are designed to last a long time, it’s still possible for your sunscreen to expire, which is why It's important to check and make sure your current bottle is still good to use. Here’s how to locate the expiration date of your sunblock, and what to do if your bottle bears no “best by” date.
First, look for the expiration date at the bottle’s front and center.
Unfortunately, this isn't the case for all sunscreens, but some sunscreen products may bear an expiration date on the front and center of the bottle.
Next, look on the back of the bottle at the top.
If your expiration date isn’t on the front of the bottle, flip it over, and check the top area. You might be able to find it engraved in the plastic.
Some sunscreens have a code on the bottom of the bottle.
If you use Banana Boat products, you’ll probably have a hard time finding a clear-cut date on your bottle. That’s because the brand, along with some others, use a code to indicate the production date of the bottle, which can be used to calculate the life of the product. the first two numbers of the code indicate the year the sunscreen was produced, and the next three letters indicate the day of the year produced. Banana Boat sunscreens are good for three years, so if your product was manufactured in November 2018, you can use it safely until November 2021.
Other sunscreens have a tiny icon that indicates the expiration date.
On some bottles, you can find a tiny open jar icon along with a number such as "12M" or "18M." These numbers indicate that the sunscreen is safe to use 12 or 18 months after opening.
No expiration date? Your sunscreen should be effective for up to three years.
According to the FDA and American Academy of Dermatology, all sunscreens must keep their original strength for three years. When expired, the sunscreen in question will likely display an obvious change in its color or consistency.
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