What Is The Shelf Life Of Sunscreen Lotion

When talking about summer essentials, there is nothing more important than sunscreen for safely enjoying the outdoors, but there is a bit more to worry about than whether or not you packed the sunblock. Be sure that you and your family are protected this summer by ensuring that your sunscreen is still effective and will protect against harsh UV rays.

Does Sunscreen Lotion Expire?

Contrary to popular belief, that sunscreen in your cabinet will expire, but not for a while. FDA regulations require sunscreens to stay effective at their rated UV protection for a minimum of three years, so your sunscreen won’t go bad over winter but it will need to be cycled out accordingly. The majority of sunscreen lotions in 2021 have an expiration date printed on the bottle, but if not, you know that you are safe for at least a few years. 

Is Using Old Sunscreen Bad?

While organic sunscreen may not harm your skin, it will absolutely let the sun do its dirty work. After the lotion is expired, there is no guarantee that it will protect your skin from anything, giving you a false sense of security while applying the product. More often than not, people end up sunburned because they thought their sunscreen lotion was still serving its purpose. 

Does that mean you need to toss your sunscreen lotion every three years if you don’t finish the bottle? Kind of. If your sunscreen has a specif expiration date then you are safe to use the product until that date, but your sunblock should get tossed if you are uncertain of the expiration and it’s not the lotion’s first (or second) of service. Some customers choose the write the purchase date on their bottle to avoid confusion, and some toss the bottle after summer.

Sunscreen VS Organic Sunscreen Lotion

Does organic versus chemical-packed make a difference in the expiration date? It might, but you may also expose yourself to nano-protection and harmful chemicals that can cause long-term effects, especially when the product is ingested. Organic sunscreen sticks to nature’s basics with protection that is rooted in vitamins, minerals, and rich ingredients that nourish your skin while they block UV rays. Organic products typically smell better too, so you won’t come inside wreaking of the traditional sunblock smell.

With the same UV protection as other sunscreens, organic sunscreen lotion gives you additional benefits by supplying your skin with essential vitamins and nutrients that can diminish under an intense sun. Organic sunscreens may not have prolonged shelf lives due to their natural, unpreserved ingredients, but they are held to the same three-year minimum by the FDA, so you will not be wasting your money if you have some extra organic sunscreen lotion at the end of the year.


The FDA requires every sunscreen to last at least three years, but that may be the extent of your sunscreen’s shelf life if the product doesn’t specify otherwise. You can write an expiration on your product or follow the example of others and recycle your sunscreen lotion every 1-2 years for fresh and effective UV protection. When deciding between sunscreens, organic sunscreen lotion is always the best way to go. Whether or not organic will extend the shelf life, it will enhance your experience and help your skin glow. 

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