Does sun cream expire or can you use it again the following summer? This is THE big question we ask each year when summer arrives. Sunny days are here again, it’s not long until your next break in the sun and you’re wondering whether you should pack the tube of cream you barely started last year. Surely using it slightly beyond the date after opening can’t be that harmful for your skin? We explain why it’s not worth the risk.
How does sun cream work?
We generally know that sun cream protects our skin from the sun’s UV rays that can cause considerable damage in the form of burns of varying intensity (sunburn), pigmentation marks, accelerated ageing of the skin or even more serious diseases such as skin cancer. On the other hand, the mechanisms of its protective action are not always easy to understand.
To put it simply, the protection provided by a sun cream is based on a combination of sunscreens within the formula. There are two types of sunscreen, each of which works in a slightly differently way: mineral suncreens which reflect UV rays like a mirror and chemical suncreens that absorb UV rays. Some sun care products even combine both types.
All NUXE sun protection products contain chemical suncreens. These capture the sun’s rays on contact with the skin to stop them penetrating and causing burns. This allows the skin to tan while protecting it from the harmful effects of UV rays.
The effectiveness of a cream and its protective action are therefore based primarily on the stability of these sunscreens which guarantee optimum protection for your skin – provided you apply your cream in sufficient quantity before going out in the sun and reapply it every 2 hours, of course!
How long can you keep your sun cream for?
To guarantee that the sunscreens are still active and providing effective protection for your skin, you should generally keep your sun cream for just a few months after opening it. So how can you tell whether your cream is out of date or if you can still use it? Check the period after opening which shows the number of months you can keep your cream and apply it after opening it without any risk for your skin.
This date is very easy to find: simply look on the side of the product for a little icon showing a jar with a number written over the top. This shows the number of months you can safely use your product after opening it. At NUXE, the effectiveness of all our sun protection products is guaranteed for up to 9 months after opening.
However, make sure you don’t leave your cream sitting in the cupboard for months when this period is over. That’s really not a good idea! After a certain period, the stability of the sunscreens is no longer completely guaranteed and the cream’s protective action can be reduced. This leaves you exposed to the ‘vanilla-and-strawberry’ effect of sunburn and all kinds of other risks for your skin. So we need to take the sun seriously. Caution is the golden rule and we need to replace our sun cream each year to make sure our skin is protected at all times.
What can I do to avoid wasting my sun cream and throwing it away at the end of summer?
While it’s important to observe your sun cream’s period after opening, this doesn’t mean you need to waste your cream every year. Here are a few tips to avoid throwing your cream away after the summer season:
- Apply your cream in town or outdoors after your holiday: this will help you use it up and keep your skin protected until the end of the season.
- Apply it after your day cream (if it does not already have a sun protection action): the sun has damaging effects on the skin all year round and causes premature ageing, so applying sun protection at the end of your skincare routine from time to time is an ideal way to use up your tube of cream after your holidays.
But if you apply your cream liberally and evenly every 2 hours and always after swimming, you shouldn’t usually have much left at the end of summer! And as we have thought of everything to encourage you to apply your cream regularly, our laboratory has created the NUXE SUN care range combining effectiveness, thanks to Sun and Water Flowers, Water Hyacinth and Kau Pe Flower which protect your skin from UV, dehydration and premature ageing, with sensoriality thanks to a wide range of textures: silky cream, satiny oil, light fluid, melting spray or lotion, you’re bound to find your ideal NUXE SUN product! Another reason to love them (and an important one): their scent with irresistible sunny notes of sweet orange, tiare and vanilla that transports you straight to the sunshine. In short, a sweet holiday fragrance you’ll never tire of!
And because helping to protect the planet is just as important as protecting your skin, our formulas contain just 3 sunscreens*, have been tested on marine ecosystems** and are water-resistant*** to reduce the amount of sunscreen washed off in water. So what are you waiting for?