It's summer in the Midwest and while we're getting out and enjoying the sunshine, there's one small thing you need to check first.

We're all hitting the pool, the golf course, the out-of-doors. Of course, you have to keep that SPF on your body and face, whatever activity you're doing. My family has a drawer in our bathroom full of half-bottles of sunscreens that probably have an 2010 expiration date stamped on them so yearly we're Googling 'can you use sunscreens after they expire?'.


So for the record, if you're also planning to flop out by the pool for the 4th of July like myself, here's what you can do with any sunscreen you find in your cabinet that's expired.

Can You Use Expired Sunscreen?

The Mayo Clinic says that you can use expired sunscreen for up to 3 years after the expiration date. And one thing you can do to help your sunscreen stay at it's original strength is to keep it in the shade, like cover it with a towel if you're by the pool, or keep it in a bag if you're out.

The Dangers Of Using Expired Sunscreen

Basically, actually pay attention to the expiration date on sunscreen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, once the sunscreen has expired, it loses it's effectiveness. CNET says using expired sunscreen can lead to sunburns, sun damage, and sun poisoning. Active, non-expired sunscreen can help reduce signs of aging, reduce your risk of skin cancer, and maybe help you not totally fry in the sunshine.

If you have a bottle of sunscreen that doesn't have an expiration date, the FDA recommends not using it if it's been more than 3 years since you bought it. If it's been shoved in the bottom of your beach tote since the likely beginning of time and you can't remember when you got it, it's best to just toss it and get yourself a new bottle.

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