How To Tell If A Skincare Product Has Expired

How To Tell If A Skincare Product Has Expired

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the rules and regulations concerning the skincare industry. Essentially, anything that goes on the skin and isn’t otherwise classified as a drug, is considered a cosmetic and is under the guidance of the FDA.

It’s this agency that creates the label requirements on products like body lotions, creams, butters, and massage oils. Interestingly, common skin care products in the spa and salon industry have many regulations to follow but manufacturers don’t need to provide an expiration date.

While many producers of high-quality skincare products still give their customers direction about how long a product will last, it’s simply not a requirement.

Determine the Life of a Skincare Product

Skincare products that contain active ingredients are typically the ones that require research about shelf-life. If a product contains no active ingredients, they may be good for long-term use.

If the manufacturer hasn’t provided a specific expiration date on the top or bottom of the bottle, there may be a ‘use by’ or ‘best by’ date.

When none of this information is readily available, it can help to know when you first opened the product. In many cases, if there’s no visible sign of mold or deterioration of the product, you can continue using it. Consider replacing used lotions and other skincare products a year after initially opening them.

Many cosmetic and skincare producers use a small code inside their packaging you may never even have noticed. The PAO, or period after opening, stamp can tell you how long ingredients in the product will stay fresh after you’ve opened it.

Storage Habits Matter

Cosmetics are often good for up to 36 months before they need to be replaced. With lotions and creams, how you store your products can make a big difference in their longevity.

If you regularly use a certain body lotion, the container will no doubt trap air, moisture, and bacteria that can reduce its shelf life. It’s recommended that you dispose of products that have been opened after 6 months.

However, unopened lotions and creams that are kept in a cool, dark place can last for up to three years. Direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes can also reduce shelf life, even in unopened products.

Life Expectancy of Natural Products

Many products that contain only natural ingredients and no preservatives are in a class all their own. In many cases, these products expire much faster than those with additives.

Lotions and moisturizers that lack wax or alcohol-based ingredients are also more susceptible to being contaminated with each use, especially when stored in jars. Each time your finger is used to dispense a product, you are reducing the shelf life.

Bottled lotions and oils may last slightly longer if you’re dispensing them from a lid. Not as much bacteria may be introduced with each use.

Ensuring Maximum Shelf Life

If you’re creating skincare products to sell, you can help extend their shelf life by choosing high-quality, durable containers for your packaging needs.

At, we offer an extensive inventory of skincare bottles and jars designed to protect what’s inside. Colored glass jars and bottles can help reduce deterioration from sun exposure and there are other options available based on the type of product you create.

If you’re not sure what kind of containers you need to keep your skincare products safe, contact one of our packaging experts. Our team can help you find the storage solutions you need at the right price to help you create a high-quality, professional-looking product.,default,pg.html

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