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5 Commonly Used Beauty Products And Their Shelf Life

Almost everyone can relate to buying skincare and makeup products and using every bit till the last drop to get your money’s worth. While this is very common, most people do not realise that these beauty products like others come with an expiration date and using them beyond that date is giving an open invitation to skin infections.

Just like with consumables, beauty products also come with expiry dates to protect you from the side effects of using old products.

These old products decompose; that is, the chemicals could separate, which could cause problems for your skin.

Here are 5 regularly used beauty products and how to tell when you should replace them:

Sunscreen, as we all know, is essential and should be worn every day. Despite regularly using them, many people might not quickly go through a big bottle of sunscreen, especially if they prefer to wear thin layers. This is why proper care has to be taken to ensure that you are not wearing your sunscreen way beyond its shelf life.

Depending on the quality of care, sunscreens have an estimated shelf life of two years after opening them. This can, however, change with exposure to heat, which causes the active sunscreen agent and vehicle ingredients to break down faster, changing the lotion’s consistency. Just like milk, when the colour of your sunscreen lotion changes from white to yellow with a funky smell, it is time to toss it out.

Most hair shampoos come in large bottles, which are a cost-saving option to prevent having to buy a new one every month. Shampoos generally last longer than most beauty products, which means you have very little to worry about.


When tightly sealed and kept in a clean shower, open shampoo bottles can last for a couple of years. The condition for this is that they have to be tightly closed, undiluted and not contaminated by mildew. Changes in the scent and texture of your hair shampoo mean it is going bad, and you have to replace it for a new one.

Soaps and cleansers
Bath soaps tend to finish faster with regular use. However, there are certain cases where an open bar soap may end up laying around for months. Shower gels generally last longer than bar soaps; their shelf life, on the other hand, is almost the same because they contain similar active ingredients.

As long as these soap bars and gels are left unopened, they can last for about 24 months; on the other hand, once the seal has been broken, the shelf life span reduces to 12 months. If the colour, smell or texture of your bath soap or shower gel changes, then it is time to swap it out for a new one. You would also need a new bottle once the product starts to separate.

Moisturisers are a well-known part of one’s daily beauty routine, which one can become pretty loyal to. In the same way, just as you take care to pick out your brand from the many on the shelf, also take care to ensure that your moisturiser is in excellent condition.

A good moisturiser has a shelf life of almost 12 months after opening. During this period, you still have to take care to make sure it looks and feels just as it did when you first opened the bottle. In the same way, any difference in colour and smell means that that moisturiser has to go, and it is time for a new one.

These tiny drops make quite the difference in the texture, complexion and youthfulness of your skin cells. Generally, opened serums have a much shorter shelf life, this is not to say that they immediately go bad; instead, many of its active ingredients start to lose their stability.

Generally, serums have a shelf life of one year during which the stability of active ingredients like vitamin C or its potency starts to dwindle. Like with other beauty products, once it starts to feel or smell off, then it is time to let go and get a new one.

Just like you look in the fridge and can tell which of the food there has to go, in the same way, you can tell when it’s time to get new products using your senses.

Products that require you dip your fingers into them have a shorter shelf life as they are more susceptible to bacteria buildup, unlike those dispensed with a pump. Using expired products exposes your skin to viruses and infections, including acne, blackheads and sometimes cancer. Also, make sure to check for an expiration date on your products to avoid having any problems.

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BeautyFace productsSkincare
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