Have you ever wondered how long you should keep a product on your skincare shelf?
Skincare products typically have a shelf life anywhere from 6 to 24 months. But that's a big gap! So, what's the best way to know how long to keep a product? On every box, or even the product itself, you'll notice a number and the letter “M“ inside of an image that looks like a small jar with an open lid.
PRO TIP: That number is equivalent to how many months the product can be used after it has been opened. Some products will even have a specific date, which means even if it has never been opened, if that date has passed, it is considered expired.
Product longevity varies based on what ingredients are used and how exactly it is formulated.
But what if you can’t find the expiration date or you're not sure how long a product has been opened? Here are a few indicators that your product may expire.
Change in color: Sometimes this will naturally occur in skincare because of the oxidation and exposure to sunlight. But, if a product changes profoundly (ie started clear and then changes into a darker color) it is time to consider replacing.
Change in product consistency: If a thin serum is starting to thicken or is hard to dispense, there is a chance it’s almost expired.
Change in smell: If you notice a change in a product's original scent, it may be time to toss the bottle.
A product that is continuously used after the expiration date may seem like it is still working, but it can contribute to damage to the skin. Bacteria can develop in expired products that can enrich skin concerns, such as acne. It is crucial to only use non-expired products, so they remain effective and safe for your skin.
If you know a product is about to expire but there is still a good amount left, there are several ways you can still use it.
After applying on the face, bring products down to the neck, décolleté, and the backs of hands. Use any leftover retinol or acid-based pads on stretch marks, the bumps on the backs of arms and legs (known as Keratosis Pilaris), or anywhere else on the body for overall skin tightening. A few extra pumps on the face and body of your soon-to-be expired product should do the trick and maximize your precious product.
Products are designed with an expiration date so they can remain safe for you and your skin while delivering impeccable results!
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