If you’ve never thought about how long you should keep your beauty products or just not paid attention, then now is the time!

Do beauty products expire? 🙁 😳

Absolutely. Any cosmetic product will expire within a few years after the date you open it, usually sooner. “Clean” or “natural” beauty products expire more quickly because they usually have natural, plant-based ingredients and do not contain preservatives that prevent spoiling.

Expiration dates show how long you should keep a product open and use it.

Once you open a cosmetic product, you’ve broken any airtight seal it might have had. This seal keeps bacteria or oxygen from reaching the product.

More exposure to air, hands, and skin equals more total bacteria that you’re putting on your skin each time you use a product. And bacteria from old beauty products can lead to acne, irritation, infection and clogged pores.

Some beauty products go through chemical changes after they’re opened. Oxidation, a chemical reaction that occurs when beauty products are exposed to oxygen, can change the color and texture of your products, especially makeup.

Any beauty products that contain both water and oil in some form can start to separate, changing their texture. Once oil-based products have separated, it’s safe to say you should throw them out.

Over time, your beauty products may start to dry out and develop a funky smell. This is normal after a product has expired.

Moisture affects cosmetic products as well. Too much exposure to moisture can lead to mold and bacteria growth. Dryness, however, can make products crack and apply poorly.

Ignoring or not knowing an expiration date can lead to gross surprises!

How to check expiration dates on cosmetic products

Most high-quality cosmetics will have an expiration date somewhere on the packaging. Don’t throw out the box that your makeup or skincare product came in! Sometimes, this is the only place an expiration date is listed. Look for a small jar icon with a number inside. Cosmetics’ expiration periods are usually printed inside a small jar-and-lid icon on the packaging. For example, you might see the jar icon with “12M” printed inside. This means that the product in question expires 12 months after you open it.

Most eye products have shorter shelf lives because they’re exposed to more bacteria. Skin products, like foundation and concealer, have longer life spans.

If you are unable to find this icon or have thrown away the original packaging, don’t panic. Try to remember when you bought it.

We understand that it’s easy to become attached to your favorite products, but your skin isn’t worth the risk. A good general rule is that if you can’t remember when you bought something, it’s best to toss it.

Smell it. Smell funny? Toss it. Color change? Toss it. ❗

We know that it can be hard to part with your favorite beauty products. Don’t try to save products too long or refresh them with water or oils, which alters the products.

Don’t find yourself with acne breakouts, eye infections, or general skin irritation because you kept a product too long. This is why it’s so important to throw out old, expired cosmetics as soon as you see their life span is up. Make a note or mark the product with a Sharpie when you buy a new product so that you don’t forget which products are expired.

Don’t risk your health to save money or for convenience- throw out those expired products!

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