Estimated shelf-life of beauty products. Do you have an unhealthy obsession with hoarding your favorite beauty products like skincare, makeup, and hair masks? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, using expired products can cause the skin to react, leading to irritation and acne. Make sure to check product expiry every few weeks!
How to Check for Expiry
Products tend to go bad in humid environments. This could happen if they are kept in bathrooms or in small, closed containers.
Unfortunately, not all skin products display an expiry date. Even if they do, sometimes they go bad earlier because of the heat or because they have been exposed to the air. Korean products, for instance, do not show the expiry dates of their products; instead, they print manufacturing dates. Hence, it is essential to know the estimated shelf lives of beauty products so that you do not use them past their expiry date.
If the product starts to look different, develops a weird color, or starts to smell odd, it is time to toss it in the trash. Always trust your gut and your senses when you feel like something is “off.”
Most oil-based products start to smell of plastic when they expire. Their chemical bonds are affected by oxidation and light. Vitamin C changes color once it has come into contact with air. Have you ever noticed the sides of your sunscreen turning a brownish-yellow shade? That happens because it contains vitamin C that has oxidized!
Skin and hair products
- Sunscreen: 1 year
- Cleansers: 1 year
- Lip balm: 1 year
- AHA/ BHA products: 1 year
- Anti-aging products: Up to 1 year
- Toners: 6 months- 1 year
- Shampoo, conditioner, and hairstyling gels and creams: 1-3 years (3 years if they are unopened)
- Anti-acne products containing Benzoyl Peroxide: 3 months
- Eye and lip pencils: 3-5 years. Sharpen them often to preserve them longer
- Lipsticks and glosses: 2-3 years. Do not share them with anyone and throw them out after a couple of years
- Power-pressed makeup such as bronzers, compacts or eye shadows: 2-3 years
- Nail polish: 1-2 years. If it dries up sooner, throw it in the trash
- Foundation and concealer: 6 months- 1 year
- Mascara and liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months. Make sure to cap these products properly as they tend to dry out fast. In case of an eye infection, throw them in the trash as the bacteria thrive on unclean wands.
How to Increase Shelf-Life of Products
There are a few hacks that will help you effectively use your products for longer. Unopened skin and hair products last longer than opened ones as they do not come into contact with the environment. Hence, it is important to remember the exact date of when you have broken the seal of a product. You can do this by making a small note at the bottom of every product with a marker.
To minimize contamination and increase the shelf-life of products, you may try the following:
- Use a spatula instead of your hands to scoop out a product from its jar to avoid transferring germs into your product
- Wash your hands twice before and after using a product
- Cap your products tightly after use so that they do not oxidize
- Store your products in a dry environment so that they are not affected by humidity or the cold
- Do not share them with anyone
- Clean makeup sponges or skincare brushes with drying alcohol
Always make sure to check the expiry date on any product, and if you suspect that it may have gone bad before its time, throw it out anyway. We know beauty products are expensive, but they’re not more valuable than your precious skin.