5 places NOT to store your sunscreen

Most natural or organic formulated sunscreen products last you anything between six months to two years and for chemical sunscreens, they typically expire after three years. However, if you do not store them well, then chances are, they’ll expire even before their time is up. As with most skin care products, sunscreens should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight because we know how quickly heat can cause such products to degrade. So here are five places to avoid storing your sunscreens in:

1. Don’t store your sunscreen in your car
Depending on where you are located and if you always get to park in a garage, the car can feel like an oven when parked under direct sunlight. While it may seem like a convenient idea to store your sunscreen in your car, it is not a good idea because of the heat. I had to throw away a new sunscreen I passed my husband because he had unknowingly stored it in the car. The product had degraded even before he started using it!

2. Don’t store your sunscreen in your golf bag or heated beach bag
Seriously, many golfers pack their sunscreens in their golf bag without realizing that they are actually destroying the potency of their sunscreen because their bags are out in the course under direct heat! If you bring your active sunscreen in your beach bag, remember to place your bag under shade, away from the sunlight or your sunscreen would also degrade over time.

3. Don’t store them in the bathroom
The bathroom is typically humid, especially since we tend to use warm shower and so the temperature in there does not stay constant. I used to store some of my chemical products in the bathroom because one side of it was pretty cool and dry but since using natural products, I’ve taken most stuff out because humidity can cause these products to turn moldy real quickly. The same can apply to your sunscreen, whether it is natural of chemical based.

4. Don’t store the sunscreen near a window
Maybe it’s not a window where there is direct sunlight coming through but it’s still going to be a spot warmer than other areas unless you’re living in a country where it’s winter all year round. Best to put your sunscreen further away from that window.

5. Don’t store your sunscreen in your fridge
Okay, I know some people like to store most or all of their skin care products in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. While it is okay by general standard, I really don’t see a need to for sunscreens unless yours is the homemade type. In fact, some sunscreen products might separate and lose homogeneity. If you have to store in a fridge, pick a cosmetic fridge, which may allow you to control the temperature.

Additional help with sunscreen storage
So where’s the best place to store your sunscreen? In the cool, dark storeroom of course! Haha…just kidding. I guess that would be an option for some of you though. And because I live in a country in which I do not need am indoor heater, I have no idea how it maybe like for those of you who needs your heater switched on all day during winter. I wonder if it’ll cause any problems for the skin care products?

I store my sunscreens in a cool place but I’m not exactly sure how dry is the spot and so I always put a bag or two of silica gels to keep moisture from building up. In fact, I found them useful in controling the humidity level in order to avoid spoilage or degradation of my skin care products too.


  1. xin says:

    my dressing table is somewhere near window because there is no other strategic spot in the room. i sometimes do wonder if the heat penetrated through the wall will degrade my products faster ? but there is nothing much i can do to change the environment except for keeping new products elsewhere.

  2. sesame says:

    If your wall don’t feel hot, it should be okay. I used to have sunlight coming from a window facing where I place my skincare stuff so I placed a curtain to block off the light.

  3. Dee says:

    These are wonderful tips. One time I accidentally left my sunblock in the car and it totally ruined it. Never did that again.

  4. Joey says:

    Where do you find the silica gels?

  5. sesame says:

    The heat totally ruins the sunblock…happened to my new one too.

  6. sesame says:

    You can get it at those photo development shops.

  7. Jaylyn says:

    I drive a convertible and live in the south, so I always keep sunscreen in my glove box. I never would have considered that this is a problem. How quickly can the lotion degrade? I burn so easily, but am so forgetful, that I keep it in there. Could I substitue the lotions for sunscreen cloth packets?

  8. sesame says:

    If your car is always parked under the sun, it would be a problem. If yours is in a garage, then it should be fine as there won’t be so much heat to degrade the sunscreen.

    Don’t understand what you mean by sunscreen cloth packets.

  9. Jarrod says:

    I don’t really see any evidence to support the claim that keeping sunscreen in the fridge or even bathroom is damaging. In fact, this Huff Post article cites some Ph.D.’s who say it doesn’t hurt (but it does not help, either): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/11/refrigerate-beauty-products_n_4757318.html

  10. Sesame says:

    It really depends on the formulation. But if you like the idea of storing in the fridge, go ahead. Personally, the idea of having the temperature of a product changing too frequently through the process of taking in and out of the fridge doesn’t appeal to me.

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