3 Signs You Need To Toss Your Sunscreen

 Old sunscreen - 3 signs you should toss your sunscreen

Before you know it, the warm sunny weather will be here.

For some of us this is harder to imagine… I know...

We’ll dig into our medicine cabinets to find the sunscreen we’re sure was left over from last summer.


Is that sunscreen still okay to use?

I think it looks okay…

But will work?

Will it stop those pesky sun rays?

We’re here to help give you some sure tell signs you need to toss your sunscreen.

First off, sunscreen does expire. Every bottle of sunscreen is required to include an expiration date directly on the bottle. So, simply checking your bottle’s expiration is a great start. Most sunscreens, including our Sun Barrier SPF 45 has a 2 year expiration period.  

Go ahead. Check yours now… we’ll be here when you’re done.

Zealios Sun Barrier sunscreen expiration date

Psst... you can find our expiration date stamped on the top of the tube.

Awesome, your expiration date is good! But what if it’s close to or has just expired? Do you need to get rid of it?


Here are 3 signs that it’s time to toss your sunscreen:

  1. You squeeze out thin watery liquid or lumps.

This means the ingredients have separated and are likely spoiled. When your sunscreen ingredients separate it becomes less effective and may not evenly apply to your skin. Thus, increasing your chance of sunburns, sun damage and skin cancer development.  

  1.  You’re using a chemical sunscreen.

Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone and homosalate. These ingredients can oxidize and reduce their efficacy. Mineral sunscreens (like Sun Barrier, we had to…) which include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide won’t have this problem. Note, mineral sunscreens do expire and should be assessed just the same as chemical sunscreens.

  1.  Something smells or looks funky.

When sunscreen ingredients break down and spoil they can emit strange odors and become discolored. If your sunscreen has a weird color or odd smell, toss it!

Bonus tip: Keep your sunscreen in a cool place to help prolong its shelf life. Avoid stashing your sunscreen in direct sunlight or in hot places, like your car.   

In short, if it feels, smells, looks funky, TOSS IT! And get a nice and fresh tube.

Because I think we all agree, it’s not worth compromising your or you family’s sun safety to save some money or a trip online to stock up.

Stay sun safe & educated! Get some quick tips from the American Academy of Dermatology: Sunscreen FAQs 

Oh, and we know where you can stock up today! :)

Sun Barrier 3 oz -- TSA size approved

Sun Barrier 32 oz -- includes a handy pump

Sun Barrier (12) pocket packets -- take on-the-go