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The Shelf Life of Sunscreen: How Long Does It Last?

The next time you’re using your favorite skincare product, check the expiration date to see if it’s time to start fresh.


Expiration dates keep us safe by telling us when it’s time to restock on something you enjoy. Though many may think expiration dates just applies to food, they also apply to anything you put on your skin or face too! Next time you’re going in to apply your favorite Black Girl Sunscreen product, you should check the expiration date, and here’s why!


Yes – Your Sunscreen Has an Expiration Date

Sunscreens, like every other skincare product, have an expiration date. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sunscreens are required to remain at their original strength for at least three years.



How To Tell If Your Sunscreen Has Expired

One way to tell if your sunscreen has expired, is by simply noticing if there’s any change in texture, smell or color. If this is the case, do not use the product and immediately discard it and get a replacement.


Another way to check if your sunscreen has expired is to look for the expiration date. The expiration date location varies on different products, but on Black Girl Sunscreen products, the expiration date is located either at the very top of your sunscreen tube or the bottom of your sunscreen spray.



Opened vs Unopened Sunscreen – Is it Still Good?

Regardless of whether it’s opened or unopened – expired sunscreen is still expired. Unopened sunscreens that have been stored in dry, cool places may offer better protection than a sunscreen that’s being open and used daily. However, doctors say that even expired sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. It will not offer as much protection against UV rays, but it’s better than going out with no protection and leaving your skin susceptible to more damage.


That means as soon as you notice that your sunscreen has expired, it’s time to grab a new one! That way you’ll go back to being fully protected and ensuring you’re giving your skin the best protection possible. Don’t forget you can also protect your skin with hats, clothes and any other barrier you can put between your skin and the sun.



How to Properly Store Your Sunscreen

The best way to store your sunscreen bottle or spray is in a cool, dark place. This will keep the ingredients stronger, longer. Sunscreens that are excessively exposed to the sun or heat can cause the ingredients to become less effective over time.