Expired Skincare Products: Toss or keep?!

Expired Skincare Products: Toss or keep?!

Natural cosmetic products on blue background. Cream, serum, tonic with green leaves and flowers. Skin care concept. Skincare products.

Do you have bottles of old lotions, creams, cleansers, and serums hiding in the back of your bathroom cabinets? Before you use that product, check the expiration date. Using expired skincare products can cause irritations, breakouts, and more serious issues.

Is There a Risk in Using Expired Skincare Products?

Skincare products have expiration dates for a reason. Over time, the ingredients in skincare products can break down and become less effective, or even harmful. Here are some of the dangers of using expired skincare products:

  • Loss of efficacy. When the ingredients in skincare products break down, they lose their ability to work effectively. This means that you may not see any results from using the product, or that the results may be less noticeable than they would be if the product was fresh.
  • Irritation. Expired skincare products can also irritate your skin. This is because the ingredients may have become more concentrated or unstable over time. If you have sensitive skin, you’re especially at risk for irritation.
  • Allergic Reactions: Unused preservatives and changed ingredients can trigger allergic reactions, even in people who tolerated the product when fresh. Symptoms can range from mild irritation to severe itchiness and hives.
  • Bacterial infection. Expired skincare products can also harbor bacteria. This is especially true for products that are applied to the face, such as moisturizers and serums. If you use an expired product that is contaminated with bacteria, you could develop a skin infection.
  • Skin cancer. Expired sunscreen is especially dangerous. Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancer. If you use expired sunscreen, it may not be effective at blocking UV rays, which could increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

How long do skincare products actually last before expiring?

To avoid the dangers of using expired skincare products, it’s important to check the expiration date on the product before you buy it. Once you open a product, it’s also important to use it within the recommended time frame. If you’re not sure how long a product will last after it’s been opened, check the product label.

Properly Store Your Skincare

To extend the lifespan of your skincare products, it’s important to store them correctly:

  • Store your products in a cool, dry place.
  • Avoid exposing your products to direct sunlight.
  • Keep your products out of reach of children.
  • Dispose of expired products properly.
  • Use light-blocking containers for retinol and vitamin C products. These ingredients are sensitive to light exposure and may lose potency more quickly.
  • Consider purchasing smaller containers of skincare products, so that you can use them up before they expire.
  • Be sure to recycle or properly dispose of expired skincare products.