Can you still use last year’s sunscreen? This is the answer!


Should you throw out last year’s sunscreen or can you still use it? 

We love warm weather in the summertime – or even in spring when we’re lucky – and so do a lot of other people. We all spend a lot of time enjoying the sunshine when it’s here and if you’re smart, you use sunscreen before you go out in the sun. Some people get out last year’s bottle while others go out to the shops to buy a new one. So, we wondered: does last year’s sunscreen actually still work properly?

What do you usually do? Buy new sunscreen or use an old bottle?


When you buy a bottle of sunscreen, the label usually says that the product will last for about 12 months after opening it. Sunscreen manufacturers claim that the SPF will have halved after a year has passed. According to them, this happens because the product constantly comes into contact with UV radiation, oxygen and heat during the summer. That’s why the lotion becomes less effective over time, they say.


However, Ann Lievens thought this was probably a bit exaggerated. She explained to HLN that she thinks it’s such a waste that so many opened bottles of sunscreen disappear in the bin after a year. Lievens wanted to know the truth about this and that’s why she tested whether the SPF of a year-old bottle of sunscreen had been reduced or not.

Go to the next page to read about what she found out!

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