I'm a skin doctor – here's how to spot if your sunscreen has gone off and why you should never use it when it does | The Sun

IT'S important to apply sunscreen to protect your skin, but if it's gone bad it might not be as useful as you think.

There are a few easy ways to tell if your bottle has gone off though, so you can keep your skin safe all summer long.

If you're guilty of using the same bottle of SPF again and again, no matter how long you've had it, it could be a recipe for disaster.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan, cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Mervyn Patterson from Woodford Medical explained how you can tell if your trusty bottle is no use.

the pro said all bottles on SPF will have an expiry date on the packaging, so you should take note of this when you first buy a new bottle.

Some bottles may have a symbol with how long the product can be used once open too – but what if you don't remember when you bought it?


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 "It is very important not to ignore this as the chemicals do degrade and may well lose their protective effect," he added.

But what if you've chucked the box already or can't find the label?

According to the dermatologist, you should check the texture and smell of your sunscreen if you're ever unsure.

If it looks different it smells a bit weird, it's best to leave it and use a new bottle, he explained.

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What happens if you do use out of date SPF?

The formula will probably be less effective, meaning you could burn in the sun, which could be pretty painful, and let's face it, no one wants to look bright red.

The product itself could also cause a reaction, such as irritation, when applied to your skin.

"If a sunscreen product has deteriorated, then in theory there is a risk of chemical alteration of the ingredients," the doctor added.

To keep your trusty sunscreen as long as possible, it's best to store it somewhere cool and dry – so don't keep it in direct sunlight.

The pro said: "Leaving your sunscreen baking in the sun, whether it's on the beach, or in the back window of your car, may trigger degradation of the formula, and that renders the product useless." 

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