Woman's horrific burns after using expired Banana Boat sunscreen

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A woman has detailed the aftermath of using expired Banana Boat sunscreen on her face while enjoying her time outdoors in the sun.

Morgan Vacala, from the US, shared a picture of her chemically burned forehead on TikTok with a warning for others "not to be stupid".

In the photos, Ms Vacala's entire forehead was visibly red and blistered after applying Banana Boat sunscreen, which she said was past the used-by date.

Woman shows burns caused from using expired sunscreen
The woman said she experienced horrific burns on her face after using expired sunscreen. Source: TikTok

"I grew up boating and always in the pool. Never had an issue burning like this," Ms Vacala wrote on a TikTok video posted last week. "I’ll never forget the look on the doctor’s face."

In the video which has since garnered millions of views, Ms Vacala said it took two to three weeks for her wounds to heal.

She urged others to always "check the expiration date on your sunscreen."

How to know your sunscreen is expired

Many people commented to say they didn't know sunscreen expired, and that using it past its shelf life could actually harm the skin.

"IT EXPIRES???" one person questioned."I’m a grown adult and didn’t realise".

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), requires all sunscreens to be labelled with an 'expiry' or 'use-by' date on the packaging, which will indicate when it's time to throw them out.

According to Cancer Council Australia, sunscreens usually have a shelf life of up to three years, and using them beyond this point is not recommended.

"If the sunscreen has expired, do not use it, dispose of it and buy a new one," Heather Walker, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Skin Cancer Committee, told Yahoo News Australia.

"Past expiry, ingredients in sunscreen may separate, affecting the distribution of active ingredients across the skin potentially reducing overall protection from UV radiation which causes sunburn and skin cancer."

A spokesperson for Banana Boat's parent company Edgewell said all products undergo "rigorous" testing to meet TGA regulations.

"All Banana Boat sunscreen products are clearly labelled with an expiry date. All sunscreens are perishable, so it’s always best to check expiry dates to ensure it remains effective," the spokesperson said.

"Expired sunscreen products should be disposed of and never used. If stored according to the instructions on the label, Banana Boat sunscreens will continue to be effective until their expiry date.

"Consumers can feel confident using Banana Boat products for safe and effective sun protection, when stored appropriately and applied as directed by the product labels."

Aussies suffer reactions to Banana Boat sunscreen

It's not the first time sunscreen-users have complained about an adverse reaction to Banana Boat sunscreen.

Social media users flooded the comments with their own experiences.

"I had a reaction to Banana Boat. It felt like fire ants had stung me all over & it wasn’t expired. The Dr thought the bb preservative was the issue," one claimed.

"My children ended up with huge, water-filled blisters all over, I reapplied as directed, even set alarms because I was that mom. Worst brand ever," said another.

Woman showing severe burns on legs after using Banana Boat sunscreen
In recent years, there have been multiple reports of Banana Boat sunscreen causing severe burns. Source: Facebook

In 2017, Melbourne woman Briar Houston said she was left in a “world of pain” after applying SPF 50+ spray sunscreen during a trip to Perth work.

She was left with burns to the back of her legs and ankles. Her daughter also suffered from first-degree burns, despite liberally covering her in SPF50.

And in 2019, Aussie mum Natasha Henwood said her two-year-old son, Lucca, was left burned and blistered after wearing Banana Boat’s ‘Simply Protect Kids’ SPF 50 sunscreen.

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