Spring Clean Your Sunscreen!

By Aeron Paterson
More light, more sun, more time outside!  As we shed our Winter layers, dust off the gloomy season and expose ourselves to the warmth of the Spring sunshine, now is the perfect time to top up your SPF and not be guilty of change of season sunburn!
Here are a few tips to check your half empty bottle of sunscreen at the back of the cupboard and have you SPF Spring ready.
  • Check the expiry date. It's important not to ignore this as active ingredients can lose their protective effect past expiry.
  • Opened shelf life is different to expiry date.  Once opened, the usual shelf life is between 6 - 12 months, despite what is printed on the bottle.  If you have an opened bottle of sunscreen kicking around longer than last Summer, chances are you run the risk of it not being effective.
  • Smell and texture.  If your sun protection has expired the formula will have started to separate. If the texture and smell aren't the same as when you first bought it, then it's best to discard. 
  • Too much heat.  If you've left it in a stinking hot car, on your kitchen window sill, or it's had plenty of time keeping your towel company on the beach, this can jeopardise the stability of the ingredients.  Storage temperature can effect the stability of your sunscreen.  Most sunscreens are recommended to be stored below 30 degrees celsius.
It can be frustrating tossing unused product but it really is a small price to pay when it comes to protecting your skin.