Have you ever found a skincare product in your cabinet and been hesitant to use it because the expiration date has passed? You’re not alone.

But can I use unopened expired skincare?

This is a question I’ve been dying to know as well. So, I did some research, so it won’t be hard for you to search for all the results. I will be sharing with you the thoughts and opinions of many customers, dermatologists, and experts about using unopened expired skincare products.

Unfortunately, I can’t use them to test our whether unopened expired skincare products are still good for my skin. Sorry, but I don’t want to take the risk. I want to make a research first before I can try it out myself.

Here’s what you need to know before you start using that oh-so-tempting face cream sitting in your bathroom cabinet.

About Unopened Skincare Expiration

First things first, different skincare products have different expiration dates. 

Most of the time, there will be a label on the packaging which indicates “Manufacturing Date” and “Expiration Date.” Take note that these two are completely different.

The manufacturing Date is the time a product was created. In contrast, the expiration date is when the product is not in good use.

skincare products

Most skincare products have different years or gaps in their manufacturing dates and expiration dates. Some have about 2-3 years, while others could be good for only a year.

Suppose there is no expiration date indicated on the skincare product. In that case, you may notice a number on the packaging with like an opened jar as a label. For example, 12M, 18M, or 24M. This means it is the number of months you can use the product after opening. 

If it says 18M, meaning the product is good to use within 18 months after opening.

I have added below some guidelines on how many years most skincare products last long.

  • Moisturizer and face cream – for 1-3 years
  • Eye cream – 1 Year
  • Cleansers: 2 Years
  • Acids and Retinoids: 1 Year
  • Serums: 9 Months to 1 Year
  • Body lotions – Available for purchase between 6 months to 1 year
  • Soap and liquid soap – 1-2 years
  • Shampoo – for up to 3 Years
  • Shower gel-6 months
  • Suncream – 1 Year

Does Skincare Expire if Unopened?

No. Unless they contain an unstable active, like Vitamin C and K, skincare products do not expire.

Most products have a “best before” date. There is no regulatory definition for a “best before” date, which means that a manufacturer must put a “best before” date on the product, which is legal.

Unfortunately, “best before” dates are a marketing tool and have nothing to do with whether a product is safe or not (they are not the same as a “use by” date).

Your skincare products will not expire if it is unopened. The expiration period would start when you open the product.

So, if you buy a skincare product and plan to use it in the future, I suggest you hold on to the opening. The products generally have a validity of 3-5 years.

According to the FDA, skincare products are cosmetic products, not drugs. And like most cosmetics, they don’t have an expiration date. Products containing water, such as moisturizers, may change color, smell, or consistency over time, but they’re not harmful.

If you use a product and notice a change in its look, smell, or consistency, it means that it’s time to buy a new one.

If you throw out your product after the recommended shelf life, you might be throwing out money.

Skincare products can last for years if stored properly. For example, sunscreen increases effectiveness after its expiration date for at least 2 years!

Depending on the product type, unopened skin care can last anywhere from one to three years. Once opened, however, you should use the product as directed and finish it within a year to get the best results.

Also, be sure to discard the product if it seems discolored, has developed a strange odor, or the consistency has changed in any way (for example, if it becomes lumpy or runny).

Can You Use Expired Unopened Skin Care Products

You sure can. According to Daily Vanity, expired skincare is not dangerous. You might notice that your product might not be as vibrant or fresh as it could otherwise have been.

Can I Use Unopened Expired Beauty Products

There is always the possibility that active ingredients in the skincare product may not be as effective as they were first created.

Daily Vanity interviewed Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi to determine when the active ingredient in skincare products expire lose their potency.

But just because they are allowed to be used doesn’t mean that you should. It is essential for sunscreen products or treatment products, where they must be working to protect your skin against harmful UV rays. Allure says that sunscreen that has expired can take on a watery consistency and cause severe sunburns.

What Are the Risks of Using Expired Skincare Products

Is it OK to use unopened expired skincare?

If you have any expired skin care products and are wondering if they’re still usable, it generally depends on the product. Most of these items are usually good for 1-3 years after expiration. 

Additionally, it depends on how well the product was kept and stored – if it was in a cool, dry place, it might last longer than if it was stored in a humid environment, for example. 

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However, using expired products can sometimes result in reduced potency or even adverse skin reactions. 

If you’re unsure how old a product is, a good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything that has changed significantly in color or odor, or has separated, clumped, thickened or thinned.

Can you use skincare after expiration date?

It’s important to be aware of expiration dates on all beauty products, as using them after they’ve expired can cause a number of issues ranging from decreased effectiveness to irritation and infection. 

While expiration dates are only estimates, some products may last longer than others – but even if they’re still effective, expired skin care products can develop an off-color, may not smell as nice, and may not be as pleasant to use. 

In general, it’s best to discard any product that is past its expiration date.

Is my skincare still good if I never opened?

According to celebrity facialist and eponymous skincare line founder Joanna Vargas, it’s best to use up closed skincare products within a year and open products within six months. 

In fact, opening a product may be even more important than the expiration date. 

If you have an unopened or sealed skin care product with an expired date on it and you wonder if you can still use it, the answer depends on the product itself. 

Usually, these products are still good for 1 to 3 years after expiration, depending on how well the product was stored.

What Are the Risks of Using Expired Skincare Products?

Expired skincare products can cause irritation and bacterial infections, in addition to losing their effectiveness. Today reports that certain skincare products such as eye products or treatment products can cause redness, itching, weeping, or infection if they are not used properly.

This applies even to products already susceptible to bacterial growth. The bacteria can spread to the sensitive skin and cause rashes, irritation, allergic reactions, or skin cancer.

Chemicals can be altered over time, and ingredients can become less effective. People with sensitive skin may develop a rash due to the chemical composition change.

If your skincare products are older than expiration dates, you may notice an off-smelling effect. In such cases, stop using them.

When Should You Consider Ditching Your Expired Unopened Beauty Products

When Should You Consider Ditching Your Expired Unopened Skincare Products?

It will begin to deteriorate as soon as you open any product meant for your skin, whether it be makeup or skincare products. It’s sealed inside.

It is exposed to bacteria with every use. It would help if you remembered when the product was opened from its original packaging before you started using it.

A makeup log can be helpful. This will help you to know when your makeup should be replaced. Even after the expiration date, makeup can become brittle. We’ll be discussing mascara in a bit more detail.

But, makeup that has been stored unopened can last up to three years.

Do not just trust the product by opening it. This is where you will need to inspect the product to ensure it’s in good condition. You should open the product from its original packaging and seal it within one year.

It doesn’t matter if you just opened it or if you have been waiting for it to dry for a year. Could you take a look at it? Does it have a different color than it should? Is there a foul or strange odor? Is the consistency of the product different?

These are the things you should be looking for. If you notice any of these, please report them immediately. This is a must-have for the safety and health of your skin.

Good products don’t have to be contaminated to go wrong. Over time, active ingredients lose their effectiveness. Consider sunscreens as an example. Over time, the broad-spectrum protection that sunscreens provide diminishes ineffectiveness.

This is dangerous as you will be exposed to the sun without protection. You are more likely to burn.

In some cases, it is dangerous to keep the expired beauty product. They can be more likely to survive if they aren’t opened. We strongly advise against using sunscreen.

You don’t need to stock up on sunscreen, but it’s better to buy sunscreen every season. This will ensure that your skin is protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

Factors That Can Shorten the Integrity of an Expired Unopened Beauty Products

Some beauty products, even those in the same category, can spoil faster than others. Because of the active ingredients in your moisturizer, one moisturizer might be more effective than another. These actives lose their potency over time.

It can also expire sooner if it is preserved in any way. According to the FDA, natural preservatives will pass faster but are more beneficial for you. This makes them a more intelligent choice, but it is not one that you should overstock your cabinets.

Storage is also essential. It is necessary to keep it safe wherever you buy it. A hot and stuffy warehouse is not a good place for beauty products.

Keeping it out of direct sunlight and cool temperatures are the best ways to prevent your beauty products from going bad before they’re opened.

Beauty product creators take great care to ensure that their products are in top condition when they reach you. This is called quality control.

It is used for all beauty products, from makeup to skincare to hair care. To ensure that quality is maintained, the government has regulations in place.

To determine if there are any changes in the product over time, testing is done. This is how the expiration date is determined. These are guidelines, and although they can be helpful, they may be a little off to ensure your satisfaction.

You don’t want your favorite shop to sell your skin cream and then open it up to find it isn’t the same as the one you’ve received every other time.

None of these brands does. They want you to continue to love and use their products.

Many of them also invest in the proper storage containers. Jars don’t hold their value as well. They are more susceptible to bacteria and viruses from your fingers. An airless pump packaging is better for protecting the contents.

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When shopping for makeup or skincare products, it is essential to consider the packaging and store it in your home. This will ensure that the effect lasts longer than you might think.

You now know a bit about the expiration dates on your beauty products. Now it is time to learn how they affect you. Continue reading to learn how to determine if expired; unopened beauty and skincare products can be used safely.

Why Some Products Shelf Life Is Longer Than Others

How long can unopened skincare last?

In general, unopened skin care products can last from one to three years, but always check the specific product’s packaging for more accurate guidance. 

Once a product is opened, you should use it as directed and promptly within one year. Always throw away a product if it seems discolored, develops a strange odor, or changes the consistency. 

Most products are stability-tested to ensure that they will last for two to three years unopened on the shelf. 

The period after the opening symbol (PAO) on the packaging can help you determine how long a product is expected to remain safe and effective when used as directed.

Why Some Products Shelf Life Is Longer Than Others?

The more product expiry dates, such as 12M, 18M, and 24M, respectively, are, the more parabens (preservatives) that can adversely impact your skin’s health.

But what’s the purpose of preservatives, you ask? Preservatives are substances that prevent the growth of microorganisms within cosmetic products. The preservative should protect against many types of bacteria and mold to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Chemical preservatives are used in standard cosmetic products. They have the goal of killing microorganisms but can cause skin irritations and damage mucous membranes.

Chemical preservatives can be very effective in killing both harmful and good bacteria. They also protect the skin. These preservatives are rapidly absorbed into the skin and remain there, causing skin irritation, allergies, and possible toxicity.

How Can You Tell if Your Expired Unopened Beauty Product Is Still Safe to Use?

You now have a whole cabinet of skin creams. Or makeup. Shampoo. It doesn’t matter what you decide to stockpile; it’s still a worthwhile cause. Yet. Here are some things you need to know about expired, unopened beauty and cosmetic products.

Expired Unopened SkinCare Products

If skincare products such as face creams are kept in a dry and dark environment, they can last three years.

The rules can be a little different for cosmetic products used to treat or prevent sun damage. Their effectiveness will decrease over time because the ingredients they contain have a purpose. These cosmetic products must be thrown out once their expiration dates have passed.

It’s unlikely that you will see any improvement if you apply expired acne treatment to your skin. Your skin’s active ingredients will not work. Proper protection is essential, as we already mentioned with sunscreen. Do you want to get sunburned?

Ouch! Expired sunscreen can cause skin damage as severe as not wearing sunscreen at all. Protect your skin by always reading labels.

Check the expiration dates on cosmetic products you buy in stores. If the expiration date seems close to the current one, you can look for one with a later date. As you would with milk in a dairy case.

Can I Use Expired Skincare Products Expired Unopened Shampoo

Expired Unopened Shampoo

If you have enough shampoo to last you a while, it’s less likely that you will run across expired shampoo. People wash their hair at least once per day.

You’ll become familiar with the smell and texture of your shampoo because you use it regularly. You can get rid of any shampoo that feels strange or has expired.

Do Unopened Skincare Products Expire Expired Unopened Foundation

Can you use unopened expired Foundation?

The foundation is not something you should play with when it comes to expiration dates. This is your face. You want to present your best self. You can’t do that if your foundation is old. It could cause your skin to break out or become red and irritated.

Unopened foundations can be kept in a cool, dry place for three years. However, once the expiration date has passed, you should always inspect the color, consistency, and smell. It is possible to see oil in the foundation that has not been mixed. This indicates that the oil is not safe to use.

This is how to know if your foundation fails before its expiration date.

Keep in mind that your cosmetic products will gradually deteriorate as they are used. You should keep an eye out for anything unusual and throw it away.

Expired Unopened Blush

Blush is a very disappointing product. Although it’s a product we tend to stock up on, it can come back to haunt us later. Gel blush or cream blush can be super sticky or even extremely dry.

Notify us if you notice any changes in texture or smell. You should immediately throw out any unopened expired blush if you find something wrong.

Do skin care products expire Expired Unopened Mascara

Expired Unopened Mascara

Mascara, one of the most popular makeup products, is something that women can throw out after three months. Even after you have cleansed your skin, bacteria can build up in the eyelash area.

If you don’t use all the products within a month, these bacteria build up, and you will notice a thickening and clogging of your mascara wand.

If you are curious about how long mascara that has not been opened can last, you need to open it. An expired mascara that has not been opened can be kept in a dry place for up to two years. If the mascara smells strange or is thickened and gloppy, it should be thrown away.

Expired Unopened Lipstick

Lipstick is more durable than other makeup products. It can last up to a year, even if it has expired. Pay attention to the color and texture.

If a lipstick tube feels dry, cracks, or if the color isn’t the same as it was when it first came out of your hand, it’s time to get rid of it.

Expired Unopened Nail Polish

Do you ever apply nail polish, then forget about the bottle? You may have found the bottle in your bathroom cupboard a year later and discovered that the colors had dried out. It was not something you kept around. It’s not worth it to have a nail polish you don’t like.

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Check for expired nail polish that you haven’t used before. Is the color still running smoothly in the bottle? Does it split and appear oily when it is shaken up? Is the stain still as vibrant and vivid today as it was when you first bought it? We are sure you won’t use that nail polish much if it looks the same as when it was first purchased.

Can you use expired facial products?

It’s important to be aware of when your beauty products have expired. Using them after their prime can lead to less effective results and even cause health issues like infections and irritation. 

When products have expired, they might not work as well, and they can grow bacteria and fungi that have the potential to irritate your skin. 

In addition, products can dry out, start to smell, and change colors. So it’s best to avoid using expired products altogether in order to maintain healthy skin!

using unopened expired skincare

Can I use unopened expired skincare mask?

Yes, it’s safe to use expired sheet masks – as long as they pass the sniff and touch tests, according to trusted experts. 

The same goes for your other beauty products. We generally prefer to stay within one year of expiration, though. 

Renowned dermatologists and makeup artist, Kari Bauce, say that most face masks expire one to two years after their manufacturing date. 

However, these can become irritating over time as there may be chemicals or ingredients that will no longer be active or will begin to break down.

Can you use unopened expired face cream?

Many people don’t realize that expired cosmetics can harm their health. 

Skincare products like face creams can last 1-3 years if unopened and stored in a dark, dry place. However, using them after they’ve expired can cause irritation, infections, and other health problems. 

If you’re not sure whether a product is still good to use, it’s better to err on the side of caution and throw it away.

Using expired products may cause skin reactions or irritations as they may already lack potency.

That is why the general rule of most dermatologists or manufacturers is to get rid of those products that were already expired.

If you are a bit worried that your money will come to waste and the products still can be used, make sure to check out its color, smell, and consistency first just to make sure.

How to Store Skincare Products So They Last Longer

How to Store Skincare Products So They Last Longer

These are our top tips for storing skincare products to prolong their shelf life expectancy.

  • Place the unopened items in a dark or skincare products should be refrigerated
  • Open products should be kept out of direct sunlight and rooms that are subject to heat and moisture fluctuations (e.g., bathrooms) bathrooms)
  • Before using any skincare products, make sure your hands are clean and dry.
  • To prevent cross-contamination, ensure that you don’t use your fingers when applying a product. Instead, use a spatula to scrape the product from the pot.
  • You should ensure that water does not get into the container. This can lead to a breeding ground of bacteria.
  • To keep natural products fresher longer, store them in the refrigerator
  • To avoid waste, you should use them as often as possible
  • Don’t keep products safe for special occasions. Instead, invest in self-care and you.
  • Now you know a bit more about whether products can expire. If you have any questions or want to be part of the beauty insiders community, you can join us on Instagram.

You can find more beauty tips and expert advice on our YouTube channel. You won’t regret joining us on The Green Sofa.

What to do with expired beauty products?

Most people would throw out expired items. Looking at the expiration dates of products is a normal thing to do when buying things, especially skincare products. 

If you are wondering what you can do with some of your expired beauty products, I can share with you some ideas or tips that I do whenever I have some expired products.

  1. Toss Them

Most of the time, I basically throw out expired skincare products, especially if they are products that I know are a little sensitive when others might have used it. 

Also, most of the expired products I throw out are overused already or packagings a little messy, which is not good for bottle or packaging keeping.

  1. Keep the Container

Yep, most skin care products have beautiful containers that I still reuse for other products or stuff. But of course, there is a proper way of disposing of the product and keeping the container.

First, you need to open the unwanted or expired product and scoop out or break the product. For instance, creams or solids must be cleaned off the container. 

After that, I keep the expired products in any containers that I will throw away and surround them with tape. 

For the containers, I place them in a bowl filled with hot water to sanitize and clean them.

Do Skin Care Products Expire if Not Opened?: Final Thoughts

There is no definite answer as to whether or not you can use unopened expired skincare. However, it is generally recommended that you do not use expired skincare products, as they may not be effective anymore.

We hope that our article can help you better understand the expiry date on skincare products and prevent you from wasting good money on expired products.

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