How do you know the shelf life of a skin care product?

How do you know the shelf life of a skin care product?

What is the shelf life of a skin care product? It depends on what type of product you have. As a general rule – all natural skin care usually has shorter shelf life than traditional skin care. This is mainly due to that natural oils are more reactive, and oxidizes (goes bad by reacting with oxygen) easier than traditional oils, such as mineral oil.

The shelf life of a skin care product will also depend on how stable your product is. Moisturizers are a mix oil droplets in water, as time goes by the oil droplets grow together and eventually you will have a separate water phase and an oil phase. (this happens easily of you leave sunscreen in a hot car for example).

For products with water (i.e. most skin care products) the type a preservatives will also affect the shelf life of you skin care product. (Yes, you want preservatives, if not your product will go bad very quickly.)

Establish the shelf life of a skin care product

So how do you know if your product is expired & should be thrown away? Here are a few hints:

1. When did you buy it? Last month or 2 years ago during that ski trip to Colorado when you wanted to treat yourself to some skin care? If it’s over a year you should probably get rid of it


2. What does the POA (period – after- opening) symbol say? 6m, 12m or 36m. The POA symbol tells you how long the product is safe once it’s open.


3. Has it changed color? Is there a layer of oil on top of the product? Does it smell funny? If yes – time to bin it

4. Is there mold in the product? If this is the case – yes in it, don’t use it – it will most likely cause a skin infection or worse.

Best advice to avoid old product in your collection is to be careful on what you buy and only buy the products you need and use. This is better for your skin, your wallet and the planet.