An expiry date on a can

The Importance Of Cosmetic Expiry Dates

Keeping track of your skincare product's expiry dates can save you a lot of headaches and money. Here's why they're so important.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Much like the food you buy from the supermarket, skincare products have expiry dates. The longevity of products can vary depending on the types of active ingredients and preservatives used, but you should always pay close attention.

This might be shocking to hear, but according to recent data, a staggering 80% of people didn’t realize cosmetics even had expiry dates. Furthermore, over 85% of people keep using their skincare products after their expiration date. This is concerning from a few angles, and we feel the need to provide some information to help consumers become more educated on the subject of expiry dates.

How you can tell if a product has expired

Other than checking the date on the packaging, there are some obvious signifiers you can notice when one of your products expires. Again, like food, you may begin to see discoloration within the product itself, maybe even mold. Additionally, the smell may change or become unpleasant. Finally, the consistency of the texture can also change, so a thick cream could become thinner or more watery, or vice versa.

Sometimes with products such as scrubs, these changes might be harder to spot, but you should always keep a close eye on your skincare items so you know when it’s time to change them up.

Expired cosmetics products can do damage to your skin

It’s important to take this issue seriously because using some expired products may do damage to your skin. This would be easily avoided by always keeping on top of the expiry dates of your products.

While it’s unlikely expired products will do you serious harm, they definitely can cause various levels of skin irritation, redness, breakouts, and even infections. The effectiveness of the products will also be severely diminished, and you may find the various skin concerns you have failing to improve or even getting worse because you are applying a now useless product. Nobody wants to go through this unnecessary hassle.

How you can make your products last as long as possible

The way you store your skincare and cosmetics can have a huge effect on how long they are good to use. Storing them incorrectly can have a hugely negative impact on their longevity, and you’ll find yourself needing to go out and spend the pennies more regularly than you’d like.

Always avoid keeping your products within reach of direct sunlight or heat. These elements can damage the active ingredients inside and accelerate the expiration process. The ideal way to store your products is in cool, dark areas like bathroom cupboards, away from windows or any heat sources. This way you can ensure your creams, serums, and other products will last as long as they are supposed to.

Final word

Keeping track of cosmetic expiration dates can be an easy yet effective way of ensuring you are getting the best bang for your buck. Nobody wants to ruin their favorite creams due to storing them poorly, and nobody wants to give themselves an unsightly rash because they were too lazy to check the expiry date.

Small changes and getting into the habit of monitoring your collection will benefit you in the long run.

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.