Saturday 10 December 2016

Beware of old sunscreen

Published 14/07/2015 | 02:30

Check the expiration date of your sunscreen
Check the expiration date of your sunscreen

You may be tempted to use leftover sunscreen - but the warning is to check its expiration date. Otherwise, it is likely to be useless in protecting you from the sun's potentially harmful rays.

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Suncreens generally last from one year to three, but it is best not to take a chance if it has no date on the bottle or tube.

Also, its strength depends on where it has been stored since last summer. If it has been in glove compartment of the car, for instance, the active ingredients have probably broken down in the heat.

* Check for a European address on the label of the sun cream, advises the HPRA Irish medicines' watchdog

* SPF (sun-protection factor) is a measure of a product's ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. Many sun-cream labels contain a category of sun protection, 'low' (SPF 6 and 10), 'medium' (SPF 15, 20 and 25), 'high' (SPF 30 and 50) and 'very high' (SPF 50+). No product can provide 100pc sun protection

* UVB radiation causes the skin to darken in colour, or in some instances, burn. UVA penetrates the skin further than UVB causing skin aging, resulting in wrinkles and pigmentation. Both forms of UV rays have the potential to cause skin cancer.

Tips for sensible sun exposure and further information on cosmetics can be found on HPRA.ie

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