Why You Should Always, Always Check Your Sunscreen’s Expiration Date

Picture me, age 14: Blond, blue-eyed and pasty-pale.

It was a scorching hot weekend in June, and I was on a three-day camping trip with my dad. As two fair-skinned, freckle-faced Caucasians, we diligently applied sunscreen ? SPF 45 ? each morning before emerging from our tent, and every couple of hours thereafter. Coppertone would have been proud.

Sunday evening on the way home, though, I felt red and hot. I could see the signs of sunburn emerging, and I felt tired and dizzy from too much time in the sun. When I awoke on Monday morning, my shoulders and upper back were covered in second-degree burns, oozing, pussy blisters screaming across my skin. Getting dressed was a non-starter ? even the lightest, gentlest fabrics felt like daggers on my shoulders. I was a mess.

The problem? Our sunscreen was more than a year expired.

As sunscreen ages, its sun-protection ingredients degrade, reducing its effectiveness. Keeping a fresh bottle on hand, and using it every time you?re out in the sun, will keep you from getting sunburned ? which can cause your skin to become dry, discolored, wrinkled and prone to bruising over time ? and also help prevent skin cancer, the most common cancer of all. 

Thanks to that painfully unforgettable experience, I?ve become relentless in my sunscreen advocacy crusade. You won?t find me preaching about wearing a high SPF ? any broad-spectrum sunblock over SPF 15 will do ? but you will hear me insist that you check the expiration dates on your sunscreen bottles. I wouldn?t wish the (highly preventable!) burns I experienced on anyone.

The good news is the Food and Drug Administration requires companies to print expiration dates on sunblock, since it?s classified as an over-the-counter drug. And while dermatologists often say that a bottle of sunscreen, usually around 6 ounces, should last only about a week with daily, full-body use, we all know that?s not how the average person uses it. We buy a bottle at the beginning of summer and leave it in the car, or forget it at the beach, or tuck it under the bathroom sink, using it again the next summer (or many summers later) after rediscovering it, never questioning its efficacy.

But now that you know sunscreen expires ? with potentially disastrous results ? you?ll surely remember to check your bottles.

If your sunblock doesn?t have an expiration date on the bottle for some reason, though, keep Dr. Shari Lipner?s advice in mind.

?Sunscreens are designed to last for three years,? says the assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell University?s Weill graduate school of medicine. ?If your bottle does not have a date printed on it, write the date that you purchased it [on the bottle] and make sure to discard after three years.?

She also notes that storing your sunscreen in a hot car can degrade key ingredients, causing it to become less effective. ?If the consistency seems off ? runny or grainy,? she advises, ?discard and buy a new sunscreen.?

And if you do end up with a sunburn this summer, don?t freak out. There are ways to treat it and reduce its more insufferable side effects. First, says Lipner, get out of the sun as soon as possible. Then, take a cool shower or bath, and apply cool compresses to any burned or red areas for 10-15 minutes, four times a day.

?Aloe vera and moisturizer are soothing and will help the skin heal faster,? she says. And you can take ibuprofen to help with swelling. ?If it blisters, never pop the blisters. Let them heal on their own to avoid infections,? Lipner says.

Still need a reason to apply (non-expired!) sunscreen regularly? Consider this patient of Lipner?s: ?The worst sunburn I ever saw was in a 23-year-old woman who fell asleep on the beach. Her face and body was completely blistered. She did not seek care immediately and her wounds became infected.?

Yikes! Don?t be that woman. Before the days grow hotter, get thee to the drugstore for a fresh bottle of SPF.

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Sword-Wielding Student’s Viral Post Shows How White Privilege Protected Her

Colgate University went on lockdown for four hours earlier this month after reports circulated of a gunman on campus. Those reports turned out to be false and the perceived ?threat? was actually just a black student with a glue gun for an art project. 

The school later issued a statement confirming it was all a ?misunderstanding? but many students were left feeling outraged, saying that the police and school response were drastic overreactions to an incident they say stemmed from racial profiling. 

In response, Jenny Lundt, a sophomore at the school, expressed anger over the situation on social media and called out the school administration?s actions in a Facebook post. In it, Lundt posted a picture of herself wielding a giant sword, which she wrote she keeps in her room, to make a point about how her white privilege played a central role in why she faced no repercussions after she? ran around? the campus holding the sword.  

?THIS is what white privilege looks like,? she wrote in the caption under the photo, which has since been shared more than 16,000 times. ?This is me, only one year ago on this very campus, running around the academic quad with a fucking sharp metal sword. People thought it was funny. People laughed- oh look at that harmless, ~ silly white girl ~ with a giant sword!!?

?If you think for even a second this wasn?t profiling, ask yourself why this sword is still in my room and has not ONCE made anyone uncomfortable,? she wrote. ?No one has EVER called the police on me. Understand that there are larger forces at play than this one night, and this once instance of racism. This is engrained in our university and our larger society. White Colgate students, we need to do better. #blacklivesmatter.?  

Yet while many commended Lundt?s efforts to call out racism, others maintained that it was her privilege that led to such a viral response to her post and that she inserted herself into a narrative that wasn?t hers to tell.

Lundt later added an update to the post to acknowledge these responses and apologized to ?people of color seeing this,? saying ?I am sorry that this post is taking up a lot of space. It was never my intention for it to be spread this vast, and I am sorry to those who could potentially feel silenced by the airtime this is getting.? 

She continued: ?This post is getting far more shares than I ever imagined. I just want to remind everyone viewing/sharing this that this narrative is not about me and my feelings. This story and the event that happened last week is about are people of color that are oppressed each and every day by this institution and this country at large and I in no way meant to take the conversation away from them and their stories… My privilege allowed me to share my story. My privilege and my influential friends and thus their influential friends made this post go ?viral?. All of that is privilege at work.?

Because, after all, people of color are impacted by racism most and constantly do the necessary work and make crucial sacrifices to speak out against it ? despite not always being met with such widespread praise. 

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‘Jesus Christ Uberstar’ Is Your Car Service Salvation

If you think about it ? and what reasonable person wouldn?t? ? Jesus would be an amazing Uber driver. Always plenty of food and water for everyone (no wine though ? he?s driving!). If there?s an accident, no need to call an ambulance, because, you know, Jesus powers.

?The Mystery Hour? shows us why Jesus Christ of Bethlehem is clearly the greatest Uber driver of all time.

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Data Firm Funded By Backer Of Donald Trump And Breitbart Threatens To Sue The Guardian

Cambridge Analytica, a U.S. data analytics firm backed by Robert Mercer, and its British affiliate, SCL Elections Limited, have threatened to sue The Guardian following a series of articles investigating links between the conservative billionaire and last year?s Brexit vote to leave the European Union.

On Wednesday, The Guardian informed staff that the firms had threatened legal action and it added a disclaimer to more than a half-dozen articles and editorials, including ?Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media? and ?Revealed: how US billionaire helped to back Brexit? from February and this month?s ?The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked.?  

?These articles are the subject of a legal complaint on behalf of Cambridge Analaytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited,? the disclaimer reads.

A Guardian spokesperson said the paper had no additional comment. 

A Cambridge Analytica spokesperson did not immediately respond with comment. 

The aforementioned articles were written by Carole Cadwalladr, who reported Sunday that two data firms tied to competing pro-Brexit Leave campaigns, Cambridge Analytica and Canada?s AggregateIQ, hadn?t disclosed a partnership, a possible violation of British election law. The firms denied such a relationship.

That most recent line of inquiry appeared to especially rankle Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections, as Cadwalladr tweeted that the firms? lawyers approached the paper on Saturday. 

Cadwalladr said the firms? attorneys, Squire, Patton & Boggs, sent the paper a ?Pre-Action Protocol for Defamation.?

And the firms? displeasure with Cadwalladr?s reporting was made clear in the article, which was published in The Observer, The Guardian?s Sunday newspaper.

Lawyers for Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections wrote to the Observer on Saturday to complain about our previous stories, which they said contained significant inaccuracies and amounted to a sustained campaign of vilification designed to paint a false and misleading picture of their clients. They said we were conducting a concerted campaign to undermine their clients and cause them damage. They said their clients have done no wrong, broken no laws and breached no one?s rights and had not been part of a ?shadowy? or unlawful campaign to subvert British democracy or dupe the British public.

The reclusive Robert Mercer, and daughter Rebekah, have emerged as two of the most influential figures on the right.

The Mercer family members have long been allied with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and were top backers of Donald Trump?s presidential campaign. They?re also part-owners of Breitbart News, which was previously led by Bannon, and fund the Government Accountability Institute, an organization co-founded by Bannon.

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