x
Browse
185 Physicians Online

Question:

Can I use an Old Sunscreen, When does sunscreen expire?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I write a column for a beach magazine in New Jersey. The weather has been great this year. With the warm spring we are having, folks here might be exposed to the sun for seven months this year instead of the usual four. Locals can probably buy last year's sunscreen in the stores for half the price it will be in June. But does sunscreen expire or lose its SPF properties in a year? Three years? Thanks, jc


Answer:

Some of the usual ingredients used in the manufacture of sunscreens eg. zinc oxide, titanium dioxide are stable for a period up to three years. I would recommend that you discard a sunscreen that has passed its expiration date, is more than three years old or has been exposed to high temperatures.



Sign In to join in the conversation.

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Director ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA

Related Answers:

I have a sunburn and have been treating it with solarcaine with aloe.and aloe vera gel. but the redness is still ther...

Hi, The other day I had severe sun burn, 3 days later I developed scabby, rough, reddish brown patches on my nose an...

I got really bad sun burn on the weekend and it has been really sore all week and know their are like blisters that a...

I went tanning wensday afternoon for 15 mins and i have got super burnt. i cant even stand the pain . ive never felt ...

Hello, I'm from Canada, and my school and I went to Orlando, Florida for a week. Yesterday, I went on the beach fo...

I got really sunburnt on my scalp a day ago and now I've found yellow crusty scabs on my scalp, should I be worried?

So I tanned in a tanning bed yesterday for 18 minutes with no sun screen. And I have like spotty red burns all over m...

I went on a 4 day cruise and as a result became very sunburnt. On the last day of the trip I woke up with a swollen e...

I have severe sunburn on the tops of my feet, they are swollen and the burns feel like typical over exposure to the s...

On Monday I got sunburned on my face and now I have small, raised dots on my chin. My skin is a little discolored (or...