Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sunscreen: Should it Stay or Should it Go

I have been pretty good about using sunscreen on my son all-year round if he is going outside. And especially now that the summer heat is here (and he wants to go outside now more than ever!), it's time to find out if that bottle of sunscreen in your medicine cabinet is still good.

There's not always an expiration date on a bottle of sunscreen. If you have a bottle that's not printed with an expiration date, assume it will last for at least three years. The clue to this is the very fact that many sunscreens don't bear expiration dates — the FDA doesn't require it of products that are stable for at least three years and don't have dosage limits.

So, if you are like me and still have a bottle of sunscreen from your honeymoon five years ago, you should probably toss it. (Unless, of course, you are keeping it for sentimental value!)

But here is something I have also heard time and time again from doctors on talk shows...we don't put nearly enough sunscreen on at one sitting. Instead of spreading a thin layer of sunscreen on, we should be coating our skin with it.

Happy Summer!
Image courtesy of www.girlhealth.gov

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