Skincare Products Shelf Life

Is that a vanilla scented moisturiser? Is it old? Ummm… I don’t think so! It looks good and usable… hmm let me go for it. But wait….

We have so many skincare products stocked up at any point in the year that it takes a herculean amount of effort for us to take the time out to see if they are potent and consumable.

Just like our favourite perishable food items, our favourite skincare products tend to get spoilt. If we don’t dispose these products off, we run into the risk of getting a skin infection, rashes or unwanted acne.

Let us see the causes that act as queues for us to know that it’s time to throw these products out!

When to throw skincare products away?

Unopened vs Opened Products

Most skincare products like moisturizers, serums, cleansers tend to have a shelf life of one to three years if the remain unopened. This is because, they have a less chance of being exposed to bacterial contamination.

Opened skincare products must be used according to the instructions printed on the bottle. Usually, they come with expiration dates (PAO symbol) ranging from 3,6,12 months depending on products and ingredients.

Texture and Smell

If the skincare products start to smell pungent or looks like the oil is separated from the semi-sold particles, it’s time to throw it away. Skincare with bad rotten smell along uneven textures should be gotten rid of as early as possible

Products without preservatives

It’s very common for small companies to start coming up with organic, vegan, clean and cruelty-free skincare products. Although these products show potential, most of the times, they come with no added preservatives. That is why these products usually have a short shelf-life that ranges anywhere between 6 months to 1 year. Also, it’s advisable to store these products in the refrigerator.

Products with acids

Serums containing active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, citric acid, salicylic acid must be used very carefully. Skincare that contains acids must be used and thrown away according to the instructions given on the packaging. Using these products after their expiration date can lead to no delivery of results because of the product’s ineffectiveness. In some cases, acidic products after expiration turn more acidic in nature causing irritation to the skin.


It is generally advised to use products in accordance with the expiry date mentioned for the same. OTC (over the counter) products like acne treatments, sunscreens which are of broad spectrum must be thrown away within 1 year of opening them.

Check out Skin Insider only at beaumarkbeauty for more such informative skincare blogs.

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