Experts share the number one symbol you should be double checking on your sunscreen bottle during the heatwave | The Sun

EVERYBODY in the UK is coating themselves in sunscreen today, and for good reason.

But experts have revealed you should be checking one symbol on your sunscreen bottle to see if it's actually protecting you and your children.

You may not realise that sunscreen, just like other cosmetic products, has an expiry date.

That means if your sunscreen has exceeded the use by date – it may not be working as effectively.

But there is a quick way to tell whether your sunscreen still works – and it's so easy.

There is a symbol on the back of sunscreen bottles that will tell you when it expires and is no longer effective at protecting you against the sun, reports Tyla.


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The symbol shows an M inside a circle and has a number inside which reflects the number of months the product can be used once opened.

For example, ‘12M’ means it should be used within 12 months of being opened, whilst ‘18M’ means it should be used within 18 months.

And it's extremely important to take note of it on sunscreen as the active ingredients stop working decompose and become ineffective.

Other experts have warned not to rely on moisturisers or other cosmetic products with added SPF in as they may not provide the best protection.

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Bruce Green, a chartered scientist and founder of SOS Serum Skincare said: “Whilst double-duty products may make steps shorter and seem more efficient, you cannot always rely on your daily moisturisers or make-up products to give you adequate protection.”

Often the SPF included is too low (SPF 15) to provide optimal protection and will need constant reapplication.

Instead, the skin expert recommends wearing a separate SPF under your foundation to make sure you're protected.

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