Woman claims expired sunscreen left her with second-degree burns on the face

·3-min read
“Don’t be stupid, check the expiration date on your sunscreen,” she captioned the TikTok (TikTok / @morganvacala)
“Don’t be stupid, check the expiration date on your sunscreen,” she captioned the TikTok (TikTok / @morganvacala)

A woman claims that she got a second-degree burn on her forehead after using expired sunscreen.

In a TikTok video which has more than five million views, Morgan Vacala shared a picture of her chemically burned forehead, which she said happened after applying expired sunscreen to her face.

“I’ll never forget the look on the doctor’s face,” she said in the video as she showed off her red and blistered forehead.

“Don’t be stupid, check the expiration date on your sunscreen,” she captioned the TikTok.

In a separate video, Vacala clarified that the incident happened in May 2021 when she used expired Banana Boat sunscreen. It took about two to three weeks for the second-degree burn to fully heal.

“I grew up boating and always in the pool. Never had an issue burning like this,” she said. “Hats are my new best friends.”

The viral video shocked many TikTok users who were unaware that applying an expired sunscreen can actually harm the skin.

“IT EXPIRES??? I’m a grown adult and didn’t realise,” one person said.


Don’t be stupid, check the expiration date on your sunscreen. #sunpoisoning #burn #fyp #burnsurvivor #imdumb #seconddegreeburn #burns

♬ Originalton - POV’s

A majority of sunscreens have a shelf life of between two to three years. The best way to check if a sunscreen has expired is by checking the expiration date on the bottle. If there is no date marked, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that a sunscreen product should be considered expired three years after purchase.

“Which is why I keep telling my mom to throw away the sunscreen from 1993 but no,” commented another TikToker.


Reply to @palmtreepassion don’t buy @Banana Boat

♬ original sound - Morgan Vacala

By using an expired sunscreen, the skin becomes vulnerable to harsh UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are responsible for causing the skin to age and potentially leading to some skin damage, while UVB rays can be more harmful and can cause direct damage to DNA in the skin cells, resulting in sunburn. According to the American Cancer Society, UVB rays are responsible for the majority of cases of skin cancer.

“This happened to me on vacation! My whole body was burnt!” shared one TikToker.


Reply to @katestachiw for reference this happened in central Illinois May of 2021

♬ Sunroof - Nicky Youre & dazy

“Happened to me as a child. That’s why I always buy new sunscreen every year,” said someone else. “Ouch!”

Speaking to The Independent, a Banana Boat spokesperson recommended that customers discard SPF products beyond three years of purchase. “Banana Boat’s number one priority is protecting the fun, which starts with staying safe in the sun,” they said. “We know this means consumers need sun protection that they can trust, and we are proud to protect the millions of people who use our sun protection products each year.”

“Banana Boat takes these consumer concerns and experiences very seriously and we are working to connect with this consumer to better understand her situation,” they added.

According to the Banana Boat website, the brand’s sunscreen products remain effective for three years from the date of manufacture, which can be found either on the bottom of the product or toward the bottom of the label.

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