I have an accumulation of skin care products and other toiletries that are so old I don’t even keep in mind when I bought them. Do things such as moisturizer, hair shampoo, or perfume go south? If so, when must i toss them out? Like the majority of things in life, skin care products, toiletries, and cosmetics don’t last permanently.
Once opened up, the clock begins ticking on these items, because exposure to air, light, and bacterias can break them down. Left sealed Even, things such as moisture and high temperature can cause products to degrade over time. Sometimes this means they lose performance just. For instance, an expired perfume could smell a little off or your anti-dandruff shampoo no more maintain your mane flake-free.
Other times, however, an expired product can be annoying or cause other problems, as with using expired sunscreen and toasting yourself in the sun then. Below are some rules of thumb and general guidelines for different cosmetic products so we can take some of the guesswork out of how long to keep them.
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For the rest of the article, we’re going to use the term “cosmetics” for all these types of items, since that’s how the FDA defines them. In the US, only the merchandise the FDA considers drugs are required to have an expiration date; included in these are sunscreen, acne medicines, and products that treat dandruff. If you buy European products, you may have more good fortune, since the European Union has a directive needing an expiration day to be shown-at least for those products that last significantly less than 30 months.
Required or not, some manufacturers do print expiration dates on the products. Whether it’s not clearly published on the pot as something like “Exp 12/2015,” look for what’s called an interval After Opening (PAO) date. This is a picture of the jar with something like “24M” on it, which means the product should be best for two years after opening.
Sometimes, the shelf life is observed by a special (undecipherable) batch code published on the pot. When in question, toss anything that has transformed in smell, color, or consistency. Trust your eyes and nose! Also know that all natural basic products have a more limited life span and can go south much sooner than products that include preservatives. What Do These Expiration Dates on My Food Really Mean?