With holidays back on the agenda, it’s time to stock up on your SPF and check if any sunscreen bottles in your cupboards still offer the protection you need. Here’s how to tell if your SPF has expired.
What happens if you use expired sunscreen?
Sadly, nothing lasts forever and even your favourite SPF has an expiration date. When past its best, the potency can be affected. So, slathering on an out-of-date sunscreen can make you more susceptible to sunburn, skin damage and exposed to free radicals. These affects can cause premature signs of ageing, including wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, as free radicals are responsible for the skin’s collagen to breakdown more rapidly.
How can you tell if it has expired?
There comes a time when you can’t remember when you initially opened or last used your sunscreen, and there’s no expiration date on the bottle. In this event, the sunscreens look, feel and smell can indicate if it is still fit for purpose. If the texture has become more watery or grainy, the product has changed in colour or smell can all be tell tale signs of spoiled sunscreen.
How long does sunscreen last?
You should always check the label of your SPF product for specific information about how to store it correctly and any expiration dates. When stored in the right way, most SPF products are designed to last for three years. However, heat, direct sunlight and where you store the sunscreen when you are back from holiday can all impact its shelf life.
As time passes, the breakdown in preservatives can not only affect the level of SPF protection your sunscreen offers but also allow bacteria to grow inside the bottle from repeated handling with dirty hands.
How can you make it last as long possible?
To keep your SPF as effective as possible for as long as possible, store it in a cool, dark and dry place. If you’re at the beach or by the pool, wrap it in a towel and keep it out of direct sunlight.
The best Kiehl’s sunscreen for your skin type
For all skin types
Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA++++
The lightweight, non-comedogenic Ultra Light Daily UV Defense broad-spectrum sunscreen helps to protect skin from environmental aggressors including UVA/UVB rays and pollution, and premature signs of ageing. It also absorbs into the skin quickly to provide all-day hydration and an invisible, non-greasy finish.
For oily skin
Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF 50 PA++++
The water-light, non-comedogenic Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF 50 PA++++ sunscreen provides high SPF protection to help defend skin from sun damage from environmental aggressors, while still leaving you shine-free. Its fast-absorbing formula has even been tested in humid environments to keep you fresh and protected wherever you are. This formula is also best for avoiding a white cast.
For blemish-prone skin
Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen
The 100% mineral-based Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen is non-comedogenic and fast-absorbing so it doesn’t clog your pores and encourage breakouts. It’s formulated with titanium oxide, making it more gentle than other UV-absorbing chemical sunscreens and suitable for blemish-prone and sensitive skin. You can still expect all the UVA and UVB protection you need to prevent signs of premature skin ageing such as wrinkles and dark spots though. It’s also infused with antioxidant-powered Vitamin E and helps neutralise the effects of damaging free radicals.
The best Kiehl’s SPF moisturiser for your skin type
For daily hydration
Ultra Facial Moisturiser SPF 30
Enriched with Kiehl’s favourite Squalane, the Ultra Facial Moisturiser SPF 30 helps to replenish skin while defending it against skin-damaging UVA and UVB rays with SPF 30 broad-spectrum protection. Massage it in after your cleanser to help skin feel soft, supple and smooth and reapply at least every two hours if using it as a sunscreen. If you’re swimming or sweating, layer on a water-resistant sunscreen.
For mature skin
Super Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30
We love a multi-tasker and the Super Multi-Corrective Cream’s 5-in-1 formula is definitely an overachiever. In addition to defending skin with SPF 30 broad-spectrum UV protection, it helps to visibly lift, firm and smooth its appearance. It also helps to reduce early signs of ageing, including fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture. Apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure and again after every two hours if you are not following with a separate broad-spectrum sunscreen.
For men’s skin
Facial Fuel Daily Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men SPF 19
Re-energise and awaken skin with our daily moisturiser for men with SPF. Formulated with Caffeine, our formula revitalises men’s skin for an invigorated, healthier-looking appearance. Formulated with broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, it helps men’s skin resist environmental aggressors with pollution protection.