Do You Know When Your Beauty and Hair Products Expire? Here’s How to Do a Beauty Edit.
We all have that one drawer or cabinet overflowing with beauty and hair products, right? Some we use all the time, some we bought on a whim and forgot about, and others let us down or disappointed us and we stopped using a while ago. They often go into the box or cabinet of broken beauty dreams and we forget about them- have you ever wondered if those old products might have expired? How can you tell if they’re still good? And, more importantly, what can you do to prevent wasting money on products in the future? In this blog post, I’ll answer all your questions and guide you on how to do a beauty edit.
First, let’s talk about the expiry dates of products. Skincare, makeup and hair products all have different shelf lives, so it’s essential to know when to toss them. Most products have a small symbol on the packaging that looks like an open jar with a number next to it. This number represents how many months the product is good for after opening. For example, if a product has a symbol that says “6M,” it means that it’s good for six months after opening. Keep in mind that these dates are just estimates, and some products may go bad sooner or last longer. If a product smells, looks off, or has changed consistency, throw it out immediately! Even if it’s before the expiry date. Products in airtight pump tubes tend to last longer- like a serum or a spray. Products that come in tubs- hair waxes and creams can go bad sooner since we scoop them out with our fingers and they have more exposure to oxygen and bacteria. These can also dry out from the air exposure if the lid is not replaced immediately after use. Never ever chance it and extend past the due dates with sunscreens. They degrade over time and are usually stamped with an actual expiry date as well. If you use expired sunscreen, you will most likely end up with a painful sunburn.
Next, let’s talk about what products you should keep and what you should toss. As a general rule, you should toss any product that has expired, smells or looks off, or has changed in texture. If you haven’t used a product in six months or more, it’s time to let it go even if it’s not expired. If you haven’t needed it in six months, you won’t ever need it. Pass it along to a friend if it’s not expired. If you’re unsure whether a product is still good, you can do a patch test in a small area of your skin before applying it liberally. Wait up to 24 hours to see how your skin reacts- if it’s still ok, it’s safe to apply everywhere. Remember that you don’t need to keep every product you’ve ever bought- some products may not work for you or your skin type, and that’s okay. Some stores will even take returns long after 30 days without a reciept. So take it back, or pass it along- it’s time to move on.
Now, let’s talk about which products you can use beyond their expiry date. Some products can last significantly longer than their shelf life, while others can go bad quickly. Products like powders, eyeshadows, and blushes can last for years if stored correctly, while liquid products like eyeliner and mascara should be tossed after three to six months. If you have an old eye shadow or pressed powder of sorts, you can clean it with a couple of spritzes of 70% alcohol and a few swipes of a clean makeup brush. It will be as good as new. Skincare products like serums and moisturizers can last up to a year if stored properly, away from light, warmth and dampness with the lids on. While natural or organic products may not last as long. That being said, natural and organic oils like BLUXOM body oils, will last beyond the 12 month best before date due to the biophotonic Miron glass we use. When in doubt, do a patch test before using a product beyond its expiry date.
Lastly, let’s talk about how to prevent wasting money on products in the future. One of the best things you can do is to start a beauty inventory and keep track of your products’ expiry dates. You can do this by creating a note in your phone or using an app specifically designed for this or even using a label gun or marking with a sharpie the expiry date. Another way to prevent product waste is to shop smarter. Before buying a new product, read reviews, do some research on the brand’s sustainability practices, and only buy what you know you’ll use. If it’s an investment item like a super expensive eye or face cream, ask your esthetician or the retailer if they have samples or can sample you a day or two’s worth of product. Just like our closets, don’t forget to declutter your beauty and hair products regularly- if they become overcrowded or cluttered, it’s almost impossible to see and use all the great stuff you have.