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Is This Product Past Its Prime?

Often, when our NJ medspa clients come to us with their skincare concerns, we ask about what products they’re using and when those products will expire. It’s sad to say, but many women (and some men, too) don’t bother to consider makeup expiration dates or to ask does lotion expire. The answer to the latter question is, yes, of course lotions has an expiration date. As do cosmetics, cleansers, and other products we put directly on our skin. If you’re like most women, way back in your beauty closet there are probably some majorly outdated products. We know it can be tough to part with them, but consider that expiration dates are often determined by how long it takes for a preservative to stop being effective. That means germs could be lurking in your Retin-A.

But wait, you say! This product doesn’t have an expiration date! That’s not uncommon – in fact, most cosmetic and beauty products aren’t labeled with their expiration dates.  That’s why it’s up to you, the consumer to keep track of when you bought your makeup, lotions, and other products – and toss whatever is out of date. Here’s a breakdown of how long, on average, the stuff in your beauty cabinet lasts:

2 Years

  • Pressed or loose powder
  • Lipstick/Lipgloss
  • Body lotion
  • Nail polish
  • Shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume

1 Year

  • Oil-based foundation
  • Water-based foundation
  • Anti-aging treatments (pump dispenser)
  • Acne treatments
  • Toners
  • Bath oil

6 Months

  • Sunscreen
  • Concealer
  • Moisturizers
  • Cleansers

These guidelines are for conventional products – natural, organic products often have a shorter shelf life because they’re made without preservatives. Botanical extracts, essential oils, and plant pulps can be a ripe breeding ground for bacteria. If you suspect a product, natural or otherwise, has turned because it looks or smells different, follow our makeup mantra… when in doubt, throw it out.

We recommend using a waterproof marker to jot down the date you bought a product before you stash it in your makeup kit so you’ll never be left sniffing your concealer to tell if it’s still good. No matter what, expired beauty products shouldn’t be subverting your skincare! Yes, sometimes it’s hard to part with a favorite product, but consider the alternatives and stay safe.

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