|When Do Natural Beauty Products Expire?|
|Written by Kirsten Hudson|
While we love that organic beauty products are made with pure ingredients from plants, flowers and foods, it also means that they’ll go bad more quickly than conventional products. Without chemical preservatives, like parabens, the shelf life of your natural beauty products shortens.
Natural ingredients in your favorite organic makeup, soaps, hair care products and lotions can turn rancid or become contaminated with bacteria after too long. Using expired lotion may not seem as bad as eating expired food for example, but you don’t want to ignore the shelf life of products. If you rub a contaminated product into your skin, you could expose yourself to potential skin and health problems. Using an expired beauty product could cause skin infections, breakouts, dry skin, eye infections and rashes—not so pretty, huh?
You’ll probably want to root through your make up bag and dig through those bathroom drawers every six months or so to toss expired products. Most beauty products won’t have expiration dates, as it can depend on when the product was opened. But sunscreens, or any product made with sunscreen, such as moisturizer, are required to list an expiration date on their labels.
If you can’t remember how long ago you opened that eye cream or body lotion, do a sniff test. Toss out anything that smells funky, has separated (unless that’s common for that particular product) or has changed color. Just because you can’t smell anything though, doesn’t mean it hasn’t gone bad. A product can still go sour or lose its potency without any noticeable change in appearance, color or smell.
For the most accurate expiration date, check with the company that makes that particular product. For example, Eminence Organics, an organic face and body care line, notes on its website that its products typically expire after 12 months, although it uses natural preservatives like honey and lemon to keep products fresh. In the future, try labeling your products by writing the day that you opened them somewhere on the bottle in permanent marker. That way you’ll always know how long you have to use up all that lotion-y or soap-y goodness. You can also use our guide below as a general guideline for the shelf life of your beauty products.
Shampoos and conditioners
Soaps and bath gels
Mascara, eye creams, eye shadow
image: Mr. T in DC