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Friday, June 24, 2016

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How Long Does Sunscreen Last?

Oyetoke Tobi - Friday, June 24, 2016

Always remember to check whether your sunscreen is still effective whenever you are heading to the beach. Even though sunscreen may perhaps last longer than milk and restaurant bits and pieces, it still has an expiration date.
So that expiration date depends on how the sunscreen is kept, said by a professor of pharmaceutical technology at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland.

In case the sunscreen is stored in a cool and dry place like in a closet, for example, it can last for years, perhaps even five to 10 years, the specialists said. The majority of sunscreen producers say that sunscreen is effective for three years, as long as the product is kept in most favorable conditions. 

However people usually take sunscreen to the beach, keep it in their hot cars or squeeze it in their backpacks while outdoors. Once sunscreen gets hot, its components collapse faster, thereby making it to expire more rapidly than it would normally be. It can expire maybe in six months to a year, the experts said.

Then Sunscreen's ingredients

Then Sunscreen consists of inorganic compounds, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that prevent sunburn by absorbing or reflecting ultraviolet (UV) radiation that would penetrate your skin normally.

Also, Sunscreen contains ingredients that gives the lotion a fragrant scent and make it easy to use, said by a professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. These components often include natural oils and aloe vera, plus some additions like emulsifiers (which is a substance that helps oils and water to mix into a single substance).

When the Sunscreen becomes hot, the first component to break down is typically the emulsifier, Advincula said. In absence of this component, the water and oil will eventually separate. As a result of this, it can make the sunscreen runny or rough, or won’t stick to the skin as it used to, the experts said.

To prevent this situation, users should always try to shake the sunscreen and then put it on, as long as it's not too aged, the experts suggested.

As the sunscreen ages or exposed to too much heat and moisture, its other ingredients collapse and react with one another, making them to lose their sun-blocking characteristics, the experts said.

"Nevertheless, the sunscreen does not totally lose its attributes," he said. "It may only lose its effectiveness to some extent, but it's still a sunscreen."

For instance, a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 55 might age into a sunscreen with a 40 or 30 SPF over time, Imanidis said. The SPF number refers to how long a person can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. If a person normally gets sunburned in 10 minutes, then with SPF 30, they can stay out 30 times as long, or 300 minutes (5 hours).



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