I have seen many of you asking about the expiry of different cosmetics. To be honest it is not that simple, we must differentiate between expiration date and PAO and a lot of other factors come into play as well like how do you store them.
When does my cosmetics expire?
The PAO (Period after opening) can almost always be found on the package of the product and it is also many times being printed on the actual product itself. You can easily find it by searching for a little open jar icon on the product or package containing the number of months the product can be safely used for after opening it. Usually it is either 3, 6, 12, 18 or 24 months.
On the other hand expiration date which tells you when will your cosmetics expire regardless it being ever opened can not be always found on the package or product.
How to store them?
It does matter how we store them especially with perfumes because they are really sensitive to light. It is sad we have to store them in places devoid of light because they usually look so good. Failing to do so can result in your product expiring faster. I also suggest you always buying the 30 ml version because it is guaranteed to be used up before the expiration date, so you wont actually waste your money.
How can I know if a product has actually expired?
Usually you can easily realize it by either the smell or its consistency. If the top note of your perfume starts smelling of alcohol and leaves spots on you and does not last long anymore then it is not really worth using it anymore. Sadly there are no solutions to this, we must say farewell to the beloved one. Most of the conventional parfumes are alcohol based anyway which is not the best for your skin plus lets not talk about the various toxic ingredients they also contain. I suggest you to read on of my earlier posts about the amazing natural and organic oil based perfume list.
The creams usually change to a brownish color with a weird consistency that is much harder to apply to your skin. This can easily be seen with your own eyes. When buying creams it is worth getting the ones that come in a tube and not a transparent jar because they are also very sensitive to the light as well. If you do get one in jar make sure to use a cosmetic spatula instead of your fingers to prevent the transmission of bacteria and other pathogens into the cream.
If you happen to have no cosmetic spatula at the moment you can just use a spoon or even a knife just make sure they are clean beforehand. Always try to get as much out that will be guaranteed to be enough to prevent constant exposure to air of the cream.
Makeups usually last pretty long except the mascara which will not last longer than 3 months. Always make sure to expose them to the least amount of air because they oxidase really fast. Also watch out for your lipstick, especially at those hot summer days it is worth putting them actually in the fridge because their base is usually some kind of butter like coconut, Shea or avocado. Lipsticks do get rancid so if your ones start to smell funny or they start to feel weird it is time to say them goodbye.
When was a certain product produced?
The production date is really important. Why is that? The main reason is because it sets an absolute expiration date regardless of the PAO. Even if you get a “brand new” product that says it is good 12 months after opening but the expiration date has already expired then you just have wasted your money. Perfumes usually have 5 years of expiration date while makeups and skincare products 3.
What is the production number?
The production number usually can be found on the product or on its packaging which is a sequence of numbers and/or letters. There are a few sites that can be used to track the expiration date based on it.
Sadly not all brands can be found in these databases but I hope it will be useful to you regardless.
- Keep your cosmetics in dry places devoid of light.
- Avoid putting them nearby heat sources.
- Always make sure your hands are clean before using anything.
- Always use cosmetic spatula when you got your cream in a jar.
- Always make sure you sealed the products tightly.
- Do not buy products that you know were previously exposed to harsh sunlight.
- If you feel like a product is warm or even hot do not buy it.
- Some producers still do sell expired but not yet opened products be wary of these.
Let me tell you girls, that there are some times when I use a product a bit longer than its PAO date. 😀 I just don’t want to throw away for e.g. my favorite mascara when I know it didn’t run out yet. Sometimes it literally hurts my soul to do so.. x) If it has nothing wrong with it I use it a bit longer… I know I’m guilty, what about you? Do you always throw away your products even if it doesn’t run out yet?
It’s different with skincare because if I use a body butter that is mostly in a jar, I usually throw it away when it’s expired. I always see foreseeable signs and sense some weird fragrance changes.
I hope you found this post helpful! 🙂
Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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