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Do Beauty Products Expire?

If you're like most people, you probably have a stash of makeup, skincare, and other beauty products that you've meticulously built. 

Let's face it, we've all been guilty of holding onto that old tube of mascara or that expired foundation, assuming that it's still good to use. But the truth is, beauty products do have a shelf life, and using expired products can be detrimental to your skin. 

Here, we delve into the world of beauty product expiration dates, and explore how to tell when it's time to toss out your old favourites.

How to Know if Skincare is Expired

Firstly, how do you know if your skincare products have expired? There are two main ways:

Checking the Skincare Expiration Date

First, check the packaging for a "period after opening" symbol, which looks like a jar with a number and an "M" inside. This symbol indicates how long the product is good for after it has been opened, typically ranging from six to 24 months. If the product doesn't have this symbol, you can try checking the ingredient list for a "use by" or "expiration" date.  

At Tropic, we also include a best before (BBE) date on all of our products. Although it’s not a legal requirement for beauty products, this date tells you when the formulation stops being its most fresh and effective. 

It's completely safe to continue enjoying your Tropic products up until their expiration date (since we don’t use any nasty preservatives or toxins), but we'd recommend using them up as close to this BBE date as possible for optimum results.

Product Appearance Changes

Another way to tell if your skincare is expired is to pay attention to its appearance and texture. Expired skincare products may have a strange odour, a change in colour or consistency, or a separation of ingredients.

What Happens if You Use Expired Face Products? 

The most obvious disadvantage of using expired skincare products is that they may not be as effective as fresh ones. So, if you're using an expired face cream, you might not be getting the same hydration or anti-ageing benefits as you would from a fresh one. 

In fact, expired face products can actually cause skin irritation, breakouts, and other problems. Nobody wants that. 

In short, using expired facial products results in a less effective routine that can further lead to long-term skin issues.

What to Do With Expired Beauty Products

So, you've discovered that some of your beauty products have expired, and you're wondering what to do with them. Here are a few options for disposing of expired beauty products:

Obey Disposal Instructions

Some beauty products may have disposal instructions on the packaging, such as "do not flush" or "dispose safely". Follow these instructions to ensure that you are disposing of the product safely and responsibly.

Dispose Responsibly

Check with your local waste management departments. Different areas may have different regulations for disposing of expired beauty products. Your local waste management department should be able to provide information on how to properly dispose of these products in your area.

Recycle Where Possible 

Consider recycling or repurposing the product. If the product is still in good condition (for example, a barely-used moisturiser), consider donating it to a friend or family member who can use it. 

Alternatively, you can try repurposing the product for a different use, such as using old Eco Artist makeup brushes for cleaning or old Body Smooth jars for a nifty storage solution.

Store Smarter        

A good way of prolonging the life of your beauty products is to ensure they are stored correctly. Some products like moisturiser may thrive more in colder environments, whereas eyeshadow palettes need little more than a stable, dry area to sit. 

Since we use lots of powerful actives in our formulations, we sometimes recommend keeping them in the fridge to keep them potent and stabilised for longer. Be sure to check your packaging for storage advice. 

Read more: Storing your skincare: should we chill on the mini fridges?

Time for A Skincare Overhaul?

By the time you’ve enacted all the points in this article, you may realise just how little of your skincare routine is left over. Thankfully, we’re here to help. 

At Tropic, you can restock your entire beauty collection from moisturisers to vegan mascara. Have a browse through our collections and start rebuilding your skincare and makeup kit, today.

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