WARNING: The following blog post may result in a mass purging of products! (Buuut that just means you get to go shopping!)
Do you follow the guidelines of expiration dates for your beauty products? I am here to tell you that you MUST follow these guidelines! Using products past their expiration can not only be bad for you, but the products can become ineffective! You wouldn’t eat food that has spoiled, so why use products on your skin (the largest organ of your body!) that are past their expiration date!?
All products vary in their shelf life as it can depend on the ingredients, their storage, and when they were opened. Luckily, many products have a little PAO symbol on them to help you determine when your product should be replaced. PAO stands for “Period After Opening”. The PAO looks like this on your product:
The purpose of this symbol is to let consumers know how long the ingredients in a product are deemed to be effective. So, if your product says “6M” – once you have opened this product, you should toss and replace it after six months.
No PAO? Here is your go-to guide:
- Concealer: 1 year
- Foundation (Liquid): 1 year
- Mascara: 2-3 months (some luxe mascaras like YSL have special ingredients that gives them a shelf life of 6 months!)
- Powder (Foundation, Blush, Bronzers, etc.): 2 years
- Cream Bronzers/Blushes: 1 year
- Eye Liner (Pencils): 1-2 years
- Eye Liner (Liquid): 2-3 months
- Eye Shadow (Powder): 2 years
- Eye Shadow (Cream): 3-6 months
- Lip Liner: 1 year
- Lipstick: 2 years
- Lip Gloss: 1 year
- Cleanser: 1 year
- Toner: 6 months – 12 months
- Moisturizer: 1 year
- Lotion: 2-3 years
- Body Wash/Bar of Soap: 3 years
- Nail Polish: 2 years
- Perfume/Cologne: 2-4 years
- Shampoo/Conditioner: 2 years
- Sunscreen: 1-3 years
- Hair Products (Gels, Mousse, Hair Spray, etc.): 2-3 years
- Deodorant: 3 years
Some may begrudge throwing products away based on the amount of money spent alone (I hear you!) However, remember that these products are going onto your skin and seeping into your body! Think of this scenario: If you use a mascara past it’s prime, the wand is ripe with bacteria. The thought of putting this wand to your eye makes me cringe (if you’re not cringing, you need to Google ‘pink eye’.)
Beauty products are meant to do exactly that: beautify you! The purpose of the ingredients in these products are meant to take care of your skin and enhance and protect your natural beauty. ALWAYS make sure that your products are in the best shape to do their job!
Do you have any other tips on making sure your products are not used past their expiration date? Let me know!