Yes, Your Skincare Products Expire + How To Tell

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Open up your bathroom drawers and cabinets. Are they overflowing with bottles of toner, tubs of moisturizer, and tubes of eye cream?

Honestly, we don’t blame you. It’s easy to become obsessed with all of the options, especially when they all promise to give you beautiful skin.

As you look at your skincare stockpile, you might be asking: “Can skincare products expire?”

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Your collection will eventually expire. Time is ticking on the products that are open on your vanity. The unopened backup products in your closet won’t last forever either.

But don’t start to toss anything yet.

Related reading: The Correct Order To Apply Skincare Products

Skincare Products Expire

Each Product Has A Shelf Life

For most skincare products, there’s an easy way to find out how long it will last once opened. Just look on the container for a tiny image of a jar with a number on it: 6, 12, 24, or 36. That number tells you how many months you have to use the product before it expires.

Of course, those numbers are just a guide. Sometimes products will last longer or expire sooner.

If you notice any of these signs, stop using the product right away:

  • The product has separated
  • The texture has changed
  • The color has changed
  • It has a bad or rotten smell
  • There are mold spots

Ultimately, you’ll need to use your best judgment. If you think it’s time to get rid of it, it probably is.

Tips To Make Your Products Last Longer

For opened products, wash your hands before applying any skincare so you don’t get dirt or bacteria into the product. You can use a beauty scoop or a small spoon to keep the container free of contaminants.

Your unopened products that are still sealed usually has a shelf life of at least one to at most three years. But that timeframe is only under optimal conditions in a cool, dry place. Your skincare products expire faster when stored in a hot and humid environment.

After Tossing Your Expired Products

Now that you have tossed the skincare products that have expired, here’s what to do next.

Make a note to check the open products in your vanity every 3 months to make sure they haven’t expired.

Do a project pan but with skincare instead. Pick a few products you want to use up and use them every day until they are gone.

Reconsider stocking up on backup products. Don’t buy multiples of products if you can’t use them before they go bad.

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