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When Do Beauty Products Expire?


How old is that serum lurking at the back of your bathroom cabinet? We’re looking at out-of-date skincare products. Not only are they less effective, but they can also cause irritation and even spots! Clean up your cleansing routine and your skin will thank you.

Cleansers: Up to 1 year.

Cleansers will usually last up to a year, but if you’re using yours every day it’s unlikely to last that long anyway. Some pump face washes will last more than a year. Micellar water is an exception and should be used within six months because water-based formulas can harbor germs.

Eye Cream: Up to 1 year.

Most eye creams will last up to a year, but preservative-free ones may only last six months. Always dispose of eye cream after any eye irritation.

Face Creams: Up to 1 year.

Face creams and serums last for 12 months, but natural, organic and preservative free products have a shorter shelf life. Check the use-by date in the open jar symbol. Use a clean spatula as a scoop, not your fingers, and keep products in a cool, dark place.

Handy tip: Label skincare when you open it and look for the open jar symbol, which indicates how long the product lasts after opening

Lip balm – up to 1 year.

If you have a collection of old lip balms rolling around the bottom of your handbag, it’s time to say goodbye to them! Lip balms with SPF tend to lose efficacy after a year. Other balms may still be safe to use after a long while but can be a haven for dirt and bacteria.

Sunscreen: Check the date.

While some of these other products may still function fine after the suggested use-by date, sunscreen is not one to take the risk with. While it’s not likely to harm your skin, its efficacy will start to decline and you won’t be getting anywhere near the sun protection it originally promised.

Perfume: 3-5 years.

Perfumes last from three to five years — longer if unopened. Heat and light are the enemies though, so keep them in a cool, dark place. Don’t forget that perfume bottles are designed to be seen and treasured so we say the wear and enjoy yours, rather than saving them for ‘best’.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.

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