Even lotions have a certain expiry date, just like the food in your kitchen!
Does lotion expire? If you’re asking this question, you probably have an old bottle of lotion on your hands that you’re wondering about. We’ve all been there. Buying the largest lotion size available when it’s on sale…makes sense with a product you pretty much use everyday, right? The thing is, even lotions have a certain expiry date, just like the food you might keep in your pantry.
While expired lotion doesn’t always harm your health per se (but sometimes it might!), a face moisturizer or hand lotion that’s been open way past its shelf life probably won’t work as effectively as it did when it was brand new. Here are some easy tips to help you figure out whether to toss or keep that lotion!
Skin care products have a shelf life too
This is especially true since the beauty industry has been trending towards using more and more natural ingredients in their formulas. Think argan oil, shea butter, and essential oils. Most beauty products formulas contain preservatives in them that help eliminate the risk of bacteria and other microbes taking over your precious anti-aging face lotion.
The thing is, bacterial infection isn’t the only thing affecting your lotion’s stability. Ingredients like argan oil go rancid after just 12 months and can increase the number of free radicals in your skin. Basically, each time you open up your lotion and expose it to the air, heat, light, or your hands, you’re degrading its shelf life.
Are you a fan of the vitamin C beauty trend? Vitamin C is prone to fast oxidation, which could lead to dark spots on skin instead of that luminous glow you’re looking for. Because of these active ingredients that are potent and also have sensitive shelf lives, you’re better off getting yourself a new lotion when in doubt.
Signs of expired lotion
Change in consistency
Has your lotion hardened up and is difficult to spread across your skin? Or maybe it’s extra runny and liquidy. The ingredients might have separated, leading to a higher difficulty in spreading the lotion across your skin. If you have a tiny bit of lotion left, you might be able to use the last bit, but it might not moisturize your skin as well.
Change in smell
Notice an unpleasant stale odor coming from your lotion? That means your lotion has gone rancid, and might harm your skin. You’re better off tossing this one!
Change in color
A change in color could both mean a separation in ingredients or rancidity. Definitely don’t use a lotion that has changed in color.
How to maximize your lotion’s shelf life
- Don’t open lotion containers longer than necessary to apply it on your skin
- Close lids and caps tightly after use
- Store lotions in a cool, dry, shaded area at room temperature
- Always use clean fingers to take out lotion from a jar to avoid contamination
- If your lotion doesn’t already come stamped with an expiration date, write down the date you option the lotion with a marker, and discard after the number of months dictated on the product.
- Wondering how many months afterwards you need to discard a product? Look for the open jar symbol on the back of your product. The label 3M, 6M, 12M, etc will tell you how many months you can use the product for after it’s been first opened.
To sum it up, treat your skin care products as you would food! You’re better off safe than sorry with a product you’re directly applying to your body. And both types of products lose their nutrient content over time, lessening the efficiency of your health care routine. Remember: it’s about working smarter, not harder!