Yesterday as we were house cleaning, I found a treasure trove of old bottles of sunscreen. At first I felt annoyed because have you bought any sunscreen lately? Highway robbery! Anyway, my second thought was, “hey, do we have sunscreen in the go-bag?” Upon investigation, I found that I had a small travel-type tube in the go bag. Trust me, there are way too many people in our family for that to be enough.
My mental image is one of those apocalyptic moments where my family has been forced to leave the shelter of our home and attempt to move out over great distances on foot. If you aren’t ready to go down the apocalyptic path just yet, then instead picture your family standing in an enormous line outside an emergency shelter hoping to score a few beds for the duration or standing in a mammoth line outside to obtain FEMA assistance. If you and your loved ones are out there for any of these reasons without sunscreen and you aren’t blessed with the natural ability to tan, then you’re cooking, and the last thing you need at that moment is a sunburn. Somehow I figure baking yourselves into proverbial pork rinds will seem ridiculous afterwards when all you needed to do was pack some sunscreen.
Your next question is, “Does sunscreen expire?”. Unfortunately, yes but I think the shelf life is reasonable. According to the Mayo clinic:
“Sunscreens are designed to remain stable and at original strength for up to three years.”
Later in the article, they note that extreme temperatures, over long periods of time can speed up this process of degradation. But as I’ve mentioned before, your go-kit should be located within your home in an easily accessible place, not in your sweltering garage.
I would also like to recommend a small tube of sunscreen for your work go-kits. If you ever find yourself having to walk over great distances to get home from work due to a regional event that might clog roads to the point of abandoning cars or if you are for some reason unable to retrieve your vehicle from work and forced to walk homewards, you will want some sunscreen. I would also recommend sunscreen for your car go-kits. However, you will need to rotate this iteration after every summer because of the heat/storage issue. A simple and cost-effective suggestion would be to take this summer’s leftover sunscreen and use that bottle for your car and just make that a tradition. At the end of each summer season, at least one unfinished container replaces the old bottle in the car go-kit. This will put you on a schedule and keep you from putting a brand new bottle in the car just to have to toss it next season.
Don’t make your apocalyptic event an adventure in becoming a pork rind. Embrace the almighty SPF! Get some sunscreen stashed away for a sunny, emergency day.