Is your sun cream lotion ‘decomposing’? Here’s the expiry symbol you need to check now

The heatwave continues and the sun cream keeps flowing – but are you risking serious skin damage with inferior lotion that’s starting to decompose?

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Is your sun cream ‘decomposing’ and failing to protect you?

As temperatures soar, protecting our skin now can help prevent short-term misery and long-term damage that’s far more serious – which is why the lotion we’re applying must be up to the job.

Just like all cosmetics, sun cream comes with an expiry date, after which it becomes less effective – or even stops working altogether.

Here’s all you need to know about ensuring your sun cream is still within its window of effectiveness and not putting you at risk of serious conditions such as cancer.

Why do I need to check my sun cream?

After a certain amount of time, the active ingredients in your sun cream begin to breakdown and decompose. This will leave the cream offering little or no defence against the sun’s rays.

So I need to throw it away at the end of each summer?

No. There’s a good chance that your sun cream is still okay to use and throwing it away is just an expensive waste of money.

So how long does my sun cream last?

Depending on what product you have, your sun cream lotion can last between 12-18 months.

How do I find the expiry date of my sun cream?

This is the symbol that tells you when sun cream will start to decompose and lose the ability to protect your skin

This is the symbol that tells you when sun cream will start to decompose and lose the ability to protect your skin

The symbol, showing an open jar will tell you how many months after the lotion was opened it will last before it starts to decompose and lose effectiveness.

See above for the symbol – and if your lotion is good for 12 or 18 months.

Top tip

It’s not always easy to remember when you first opened a tube or bottle of sun cream, so grab a permanent pen and write the month and year on the packaging.

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