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Post Last Modified – June 12, 2021
Check Your Sunscreen Expiry Date
Are you like me and rarely check your Sunscreen Expiry Date? Over the many years of travel and enjoying tropical beach vacations, I never gave it a second thought. As a matter of fact, I’ve mixed my sun tan and sunscreen lotion many times.
Well, it appears that your old bottle of sunscreen may not be all that good for you.
Experts Warn About Using Expired Sunscreen
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels
Dr Eckhard Breitbart, chairman of the Hamburg-based Dermatological Prevention Working Group (ADP) and a German Cancer Aid (DK) expert, recommends not using leftover sunscreen from the previous season. Here’s what Dr Breitbart says;
“Having been exposed to oxygen, the sunscreen’s contents will have changed under oxidation and can no longer properly fulfil their protective function.
Substances can form that may well be Carcinogenic.”
French and American scientists have affirmed that the organic compound Benzophenone, known to be a possible human carcinogen, accumulates over time in your older sunscreen.
Check Your Best Before Date
Photo by Fabio Partenheimer from Pexels
Have you ever checked your sunscreen bottles best before date? I haven’t, but experts say this is something not to be ignored. I didn’t even know sunscreen had best before dates!
They go on to say that if your bottle does not have an expiry date after opening is 12M or 12 months. Some sunscreens also have a best-by date. If it’s expired, Breitbart says even it its unopened, you shouldn’t use it.
He also suggests selecting a sunscreen that’s fragrance-free and offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Dermatologists offer two rules of application for applying sunscreen.
Not Too Old
Not Too Little
Experts recommended applying sunscreen to the skin liberally, don’t skimp!
It appears the listed SPF (Sunscreen Protection Factor), can only be realized when the product is applied generously. The listed SPF number on the bottle tells you how long the Sun’s UV (Ultra Violet) radiation would take to begin to burn your skin.
In Addition To Checking Your Sunscreen Expiry Date
Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
Dermatologists also strongly recommend wearing protective clothing in addition to using sunscreen protection. Large hats, protective clothing and keeping out of the midday sun when UV radiation is at its peak are strongly recommended.
Many clothing manufacturers now off special UV protection in their material, especially recommended if spending a great deal of time on the water. For example when snorkeling, surfing, sailing, swimming. If the sun is bright, the reflection off the water can be very damaging.
UV protective sunglasses are also crucial for protecting your eyes!
Even on cloudy days, you can still be affected by UV radiation.
Think you’re safe from the affects of the sun with that beautiful bronze tan? Well think again!
Dermatologists state that your suntan only provides approximately SPF 4, which is next to nothing.
I’m in my early 60’s and have spent many years enjoying wonderful tropical beach vacations. I’ve enjoyed years on the water scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming without proper protection.
A few years ago, I started to notice sun damage on my nose and temples. Just recently, I was referred to a specialist to treat the damage. It was during this time, that he discovered a mild form of skin skin cancer on my shoulder. I didn’t even know I had it.
The dermatologist said it’s quite common for this type of cancer to take decades to surface!
I was treated for my years of abuse to the sun on my face and the small cancer on my shoulder.
Today, I am much more careful when out in the sun. Instead of the typical ball cap, I now wear a wide brim Tilley Hat for greater sun protection. When on the water, I always try to wear a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt.
This especially so, if spending a great deal of time swimming or snorkeling on the surface.
So just a little food for thought the next time you’re out in the hot sun. Pay a little now for good sunscreen and protective clothing, or pay a lot later for your overall health and wellness.
For more information on reasons why you shouldn’t use old sunscreen, I’ve included a link to the Weather Networks article below.
Safe and Healthy Travels!
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