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How to Know if Your Beauty Products Are Expired

How to Know if Your Beauty Products Are Expired

By DivineCaroline

Like some romantic relationships, no matter how much you adore your beloved favorite beauty products in the beginning, if you don’t keep a close eye on things, they can get mucky after a while. Luckily, there are scientists who understand the ingredients behind skin care and beauty products, and can ascertain the difference between a product that’s still fresh and one that’s seen better times.

Check your natural and organic products first.
Natural and organic products often lack the same chemical preservative systems that more synthetic products have. As a result, many of your natural and organic products will break down more quickly upon exposure to light and air.

Know what to look for.
Look for products that have separated, changed in color, or which have a funny smell. All are indications that the antioxidants have lost their potency or bacteria have moved in and proliferated.

Try to remember how long you’ve had the product.

  • In general, non-organic body lotion and perfume should be tossed after three years.
  • Hair products after two years.
  • Makeup (non-lip) products after one year.
  • Sunscreen, skin care, lip products, and all natural/organic skin care should be tossed after six months.
  • Most experts say one year for sunscreen—but there is evidence that some ingredients, like octinoxate, break down in the presence of UV light (​Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2005). So do yourself a favor and get rid of them after 6 months.

Bottom Line
Keep in mind that our ancestors in the 1600s used only natural products and medicines – and they died of bacterial diseases all the time. This is one of the reasons why so many beauty products contain preservative chemicals, and why you must be extra-attentive to all-natural products. Even if you use synthetic products, always check for separation, a change in color, or a funny smell. Now, if only it were that easy to tell when a relationship was going sour…



More from DivineCaroline:
9 Beauty Products That’ll Save You This Summer
Olympic Attire Through the Ages
12 Things You DON’T Need to Do by 25 (Or 30)


More from Care2:
How Long Do Beauty Products Last?
Natural Preservatives for Beauty Formulas
Does This Smell Weird To You? The End of Expiration Dates

Read more: Bath & Shower, Beauty, Conscious Consumer, Hair Care, Holistic Beauty, Make-Up, Skin Care, , , , , ,

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+ add your own
7:04AM PST on Dec 30, 2012

Thanks for the info.

12:53AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

i also used to very old products for beauty..

4:14PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

I use my makeup till it gets used up every few years :)

10:56PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

@Bill E. Thank you for my morning laugh...

2:56AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012


1:29AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

oh ok. I don't think I've got any make-up younger than 3 years old except a foundation.

8:08PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

I use my stuff until it runs out or isn't able to be used anymore.

5:45PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Good information. Thanks.

4:59PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

Thank you

3:11PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

lmao @ bill e

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Lots of good info. Yay for California! :)

Thank you for sharing. I love to support local growers and other local businesses.

@Maggie W., I don't mean to criticize (ironic, right?) but if you're talking about a genuinely ab…

Dried fruit is always available for me to snack on. Figs and apricots are my favourites.


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