We are always being reminded time and time again about the expiration date on makeup. And yet, even after the six-month mark, we still hold on to that grubby tube of mascara and apply it daily. Yeah, it isn’t the most hygienic, but do you expect us to replace that RM95 mascara when the tube still feels heavy? Nahh, mate.
While we can occasionally get away with expired makeup, the same cannot be said about sunscreen. According to Los Angeles-based dermatologist Jessica Wu, “Expired sunscreen may no longer protect you from UV rays, and it may also be less water-resistant than what it says on the label.” The ingredients also break down, causing mould and bacteria to grow.
That’s when bigger issues like skin irritation, infections and allergic reactions can be triggered. Should the expiration date be rubbed off on a bottle of sunscreen, Wu suggests taking note of its texture and colour. If a creamy sunscreen comes out runny, throw it out. That also applies if it changes in colour, turns yellow or starts to smell nasty.
With all that said, Wu said there is wiggle room after all. Mineral sunscreen ingredients disintegrate slower than active chemical ingredients, so they will last you another few months after expiration. No more than six months though, she warns! That is just pushing it a little too far.