how to store sunscreen to keep it effective for longer

I used to be so reckless with sunscreen.

Before my mid 20s, I only used it at the beach (read: never. Going to the beach is my idea of hell – I know, weirdo).

The few times I was dragged there, I would begrudgingly put sunscreen on, and then leave the bottle lying wherever. In the car, on the sand under the scorching sun, on my bed… Who cared?

Well, I wish I did care. The way you store sunscreen matters. Do it wrong, and it loses all its effectiveness. The worst part is that you often don’t realise there’s something wrong with it until you get a bad sunburn. Ouch!

So, how should you store sunscreen?

3 Things To Be Aware On When Storing Sunscreen

You should always keep your sunscreen away from:

  • Direct sunlight
  • Heat
  • Humidity

All these things degrade and weaken sunscreen until it becomes completely useless. So, that rules out most of your fave storage places:

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Where Not To Store Sunscreen:

1. Don’t Store Sunscreen In The Bathroom

I used to keep all my skincare products in the bathroom, because it’s SO convenient. Too bad it’s deadly for all your lotions and potions (sunscreen included).

Here’s the deal: the temperature in the bathroom changes all the time. Think about all those warm showers you’re taking. They make the temperature rise up, and then it goes back down, and then back up again.

All that warmth and humidity can make your fave products turn mouldy and go bad sooner.

2. Don’t Store Sunscreen In The Car

It’s convenient to store your sunscreen in the car, isn’t it? That way, you have it with you everywhere you go. But, if it’s a hot day and you park your car under direct sunlight, you’re pretty much storing your sunscreen into an oven.

If the day is really, really hot, the car will turn into an oven regardless of where you park it. Do bring your sunscreen with you, but be careful not to “cook” it, or you’ll have to throw it away!

3. Don’t Store Sunscreen Near A Window

I used to let my sunscreen lie around wherever, including my bed and my desk, which were often under direct sunlight. Basically, they were the hottest spots in the house. Not smart, Gio!

Of course, this isn’t as bad as storing sunscreen in the car as the temperature won’t rise as much. But, if you want your sunscreen to work its best and last that little bit longer, avoid any place that’s under direct sunlight.

Where Should You Store Sunscreen?

Always store your sunscreen somewhere cool, dark and dry. I keep mine in a drawer in my bedroom. It fits the bill well, especially in London, when the weather rarely gets that hot.

Still, I always put a bag of silica gels in there, just to keep the drawer dry. Silica gels are great at absorbing the excess moisture caused by humidity that would make your sunscreen (and everything else) go bad faster.

The Bottom Line

Forget about bathrooms and cars. If you don’t want your bottle of sunscreen to go bad quickly, store it in a cool, dry, and humid place. No excuses.