15th Jan 2020
Keeping to the beauty use-by date might not be your top concern, but I found out the hard way that I should pay attention to when my skincare is out of date.
The very last thing you want to put directly on to your skin is bacteria, right? Of course. You’d never wipe your kitchen cloth on your face directly after you cleaned your counters, but using out of date beauty products could be as detrimental to your skin.
But of course, being the completely non-organised person I am, I found that out the hard way. I recently used a long, long out of date mascara primer on my eyes. It smelled okay, it looked okay, I couldn’t remember when I got it.
I applied it and moments later my eyes were streaming. Minutes later they were stinging, and after six or seven face washes, a bottle of eye drops and a cold compress, my eyes started to calm down. My eye make-up, however, never recovered and I was exceptionally late to the place I was going.
Beauty use-by dates are important
On every perishable beauty product you buy, there’ll be a PAO (period after opening) symbol, which is basically a little jar with ‘3m’ ‘6m’ or ’12m’ in it. Occasionally there’ll be a higher number. These are the guidelines for how long you should use it after opening, so three, six or 12 months.
I never, ever keep track of how long something has been opened, so what I’ve taken to doing since eye-gate, and particularly with skincare, is when I open it, I stick a label and write the last date it should be used on it. If I open a 6-month use product on January 1, I’ll put July 1 on it, to remind me I should stop using it then.
Expiry date guide
What are the expiries on your most common beauty products? Here’s a non-exhaustive list, and these are best estimations. As a general rule, anything that has dried up or gone smelly, discoloured or crusty should absolutely not be used, regardless of the date.
- Cleanser, toner and moisturiser = 12 months
- Micellar water = 6 months
- Cream eyeshadow = 6 months
- Powder eyeshadow = 24 months
- Liquid foundation and concealer = 12 months
- Powder foundation = 24 months
- Liquid eyeliner = 6 months
- Powder blushes and powders = 24 months
- Brow pencil (if regularly pared) = 24 months
- Mascara = 3 to 6 months max
- Eyeliner pencil = 12 months
- Lipstick = 24 months
- Perfume = up to 10 years
- Nail polish = 24 months
Photography by Unsplash.
Read more: Getting your make-up stash organised for 2019
Read more: Bobbi Brown’s new beauty ingestibles have landed in Ireland
Read more: Five ways to Marie Kondo your beauty collection
Princess Diana said that the haircut Sam gave her was what sparked her confidence to change her life in the...
As consumers buy into it in their droves, Holly O’Neill speaks to the experts to debunk some clean beauty myths....
A renewed appetite for genuine imagery during Covid-19 (grey hair, stretch marks and curves) is to be welcomed but is...
For the ultimate make-up setting power, no matter the weather you need a setting spray. Good setting sprays will feel...
You know when you finish styling your hair, but all your little fizzy flyaway hairs are ruining an otherwise sleek finish? Well, say goodbye to that ever happening again, thanks to Dyson’s latest innovation, the Dyson Supersonic Flyaway Attachment.
Naomi Osaka has entered the skincare chat. Ever wonder how Naomi Osaka gets her skin so good? Well, wonder no...