Expiration of Sunscreen

Last Modified: June 17, 2010

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am wondering how long the SPF value lasts in the tube of sunscreen! I do tend to save it from year to year. Thank you.

Answer

Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

Look on the bottle for an expiration date and don’t use after that. The FDA requires that the product be stable at the strength stated on the bottle for three years- but can you ever know how long they were on the shelf at the store? So, go with an expiration date.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention Webchat. View the entire transcript here.

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