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Old 03-25-2008, 03:26 PM
Dolores Reborn Dolores Reborn is online now
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Can suntan lotion expire?

I have some SPF 15 I used the other day, and I got a streaky sunburn. Perhaps I didn't shake it up very well, but I was wondering, since it's a few years old, if its effectiveness can expire.

There is no expiration date on the bottle.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:37 PM
Solfy Solfy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolores Reborn
I have some SPF 15 I used the other day, and I got a streaky sunburn. Perhaps I didn't shake it up very well, but I was wondering, since it's a few years old, if its effectiveness can expire.

There is no expiration date on the bottle.
It is frequently recommended that you replace sunscreen every year as it does lose its effectiveness with time.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:39 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Many suntan lotions have an expiration date on them. All of mine do.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:01 PM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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I have been warned repeatedly in parents' magazines and other information regarding children that sunscreen needs to be replaced every year or the little ones might burn. I follow this advice for the kids, but I know for myself I used one bottle of Coppertone for at least three years in a row with the same (good) results. But, since most bottles carry expiration dates, I have to believe it does indeed expire.

Last edited by Ellen Cherry; 03-25-2008 at 04:01 PM..
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:13 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Quote:
But, since most bottles carry expiration dates, I have to believe it does indeed expire.
I recall someone posting here that some consumer products are required to have a maximum expiration date, for instance, even if certain types of cooking oil never go bad they might still need a 1 yr expiration (example comes from colo-rectal area). Perhaps since you apply it to yourself as a quasi-medical device it also falls under the required expiration date regulations.

Or perhaps it just goes bad. I dunno. But I just applied an SPF 30 that had been sitting in my cabinet for over a year last week and hiked with my shirt off for 4 hours, the longest I've been in the sun without my shirt in several years, and didn't get burnt. Then again it was overcast much of the time.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:42 PM
Dolores Reborn Dolores Reborn is online now
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Thanks! I wonder why mine didn't have an expiration date...

I'm gonna go home and throw the two old bottles out.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:33 PM
cainxinth cainxinth is offline
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expiration dates for a lot of household products
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:23 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Sunscreens, legally, are over-the-counter drugs -- like aspirin. Like other OTCs, they must be tested for stability, and normally an appropriate expiration date is assigned. However, there's an exception: if the data justifies an expiration interval over 5 years, then no date needs to be assigned at all. Sunscreen ingredients are incredibly stable as long as they're in the bottle, so the potency of old sunscreen is seldom in question. Sunscreens can still experience physical breakdown, though, much faster than they lose potency -- especially when exposed to elevated temperatures, like on a very hot day, when it's sunny, and you go to the beach, and leave the sunscreen out in the hot sun, or in the even hotter car.... After such a breakdown, it's no surprise that the sunscreen does not protect evenly.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:35 PM
Dolores Reborn Dolores Reborn is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cainxinth
Thanks for the link. It's very enlightening!
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