If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that everyone has at least one expired beauty product in their makeup bag. We get it, it can be hard to throw away that product you splurged on and didn't finish, that product that's your number one that you carry everywhere, or that discontinued product that you use every last drop of. It can be time-consuming, and more importantly expensive, to make sure your beauty products aren't expired, but we promise it's worth it. Using expired beauty products, whether it's makeup or skincare, can be very harmful to your skin and health, not to mention a waste of precious skincare time, as many products lose their effectiveness after their expiration date.
Is your day cream still fresh? Is your serum past its shelf life? Here's how to tell if your products are out of date, and therefore good to throw away.
RECOGNIZING THE EXPIRATION DATE OF COSMETICS
When you buy your beauty products, you may notice that a small symbol representing an open jar is written on one of the sides, along with a numbered inscription. It indicates the number of months of use once the jar is opened: 6M for six months, 8M for eight months... As long as it has not been opened, a cosmetic product can be kept for a very long time without any risk.
AVERAGE SHELF LIFE OF BEAUTY PRODUCTS
If cosmetic products are stored in a dry place at a moderate temperature, their shelf life once opened can be roughly estimated:
- Mascaras and eyeliners: between 1 and 3 months
- Skincare products (serum, eye contour care, moisturizer, liquid mask, cleanser): 8 months for products in jars and 12 months for those in pump bottles
- Body care products: between 9 and 12 months
- Foundations, powders, bronzers, blushes, eyeshadows: between 12 and 18 months
- Make-up removers and micellar waters: approximately 12 months
- Nail polish: between 12 and 24 months
- Lipsticks and lip gloss: about 15 months
- Body oils: about 18 months
- Shampoos and shower gels: between 24 and 36 months
- Perfumes: about 24 months
- Sunscreens: one season. UV filters become less effective over time. It is, therefore, better to use them only during one season and not to reuse them the following year. If you still want to keep your sun protection products for more than one season, it is recommended to keep them in a cool environment to avoid exposing them to heat.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AFTER THE EXPIRATION DATE?
The main risk is that the formula changes and loses its properties, Even if it is not systematic, expired cosmetics can change texture, color or smell, like lipsticks, or become ineffective, like moisturizers or anti-aging creams. But the expiration date is not everything. The way products are stored and used is almost as important. Cosmetics do not tolerate light, heat, and large temperature changes. A new lipstick that has softened and then hardened in a handbag is more deserving of the garbage can than a lipstick that has been out of date for a month and kept in a cool place.
That’s not all, expired cosmetics offer favorable conditions for the proliferation of bacteria and can create all types of reactions, whether on the skin or in more fragile areas, such as the eyes for example. It is therefore essential not to store your makeup and skincare products for too long. On the other hand, you should know that if it is not opened, its life span is longer. Generally, it is recommended to keep an unopened beauty product about two to three years after its manufacturing date.
OTHER WAYS TO TELL IF YOUR PRODUCT IS EXPIRED
If you really have no idea when your product was opened, there are several things you should consider to make up your mind:
The smell: if the smell changes considerably, it is recommended to stop using your product.
The texture: if the texture thickens, liquefies, or if you notice a phase shift, it is better not to use it.
The color: it is better to part with your product if you notice a change in color. Better safe than sorry.