Skincare Can Also Go Off….
It was that time again last week for a big end of year clear-out of my toilet bag. Not so extravagant, as cosmetic products have a limited shelf life and using out of date products can cause a heap of problems. And I’ll bet that you also have products in your bathroom in which a little too much bacteria and fungus are swimming around! Skincare can als go off!
How do I know if my products are still alright to use?
In the Netherlands all skincare products have an open pot symbol with a number. This number signifies how many months the product is still useable for after opening. This is no guarantee that your product is still in order though. That depends on how long the product has been in the distribution centre, the way you use it, the composition and the packaging of the product and the preservatives used. If there is ‘no open pot symbol’ on the packaging then there should be an expiry date on it.
Remember the following:
- products in pots have the shortest shelf life; it is better, therefore, to choose products in dispensers.
- water based products (where water is listed first) go off more quickly than oil based products.
- products containing mineral oils generally have a longer shelf life than products containing plant oils.
- “green” products generally have a shorter shelf life. Plant based ingredients go off more quickly and besides this they mainly contain milder and less preservatives.
In general you can expect moisturisers, foundations and toners to have a shelf life of up to 12 months after opening. If the product is in a pot or it is plant based you can expect it to last for up to 6 months. A salicylic or glycolic acid based exfoliant has a longer shelf life. Don’t confuse the expiry date of a product with the effectiveness. Even if your product is still well in date the effectiveness may be substantially reduced. Products with anti-oxidants usually lose their strength a year after production. So before buying an expensive product check the production date.
And what about make-up?
Make-up products that need to be thrown away:
- Mascara after approximately 3 months.
- Liquid eyeliner and lip gloss after approximately 6 months.
- Eye and lip pencils after 1 year.
- Eye shadow and powder after 18 months.
No you just have to hope that Sinterklaas and Father Christmas make sure that that toilet bag gets refilled! There’s an hollow sound in my bathroom now….
If you are still not convinced just look through the list of ingredients to avoid below and shudder: Perfume – all types of alcohol (apart from if they are at the very end of the ingredients list/ except those with cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl and lanolin added) – Balsam of Peru – Bergamot – Cinnamic acid – Minty substances – Eucalyptus – Camphor – Citrus substances – Lavender – Geranium – Methylisothiazolinone – Tea tree oil – Witch hazel – Ylang ylang – Oxybenzone – PABA – Propylene glycol – Sodium lauryl sulphate – Methyl nicotinate – Synthetic dyes – Acetone.
(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)
You can also read the blogs:
‘Pots Are for the Recycle Bin’,
‘The Safety of Cosmetics, Who Actually Oversees It?’,
‘Paraben Free Cosmetics?’,
‘Argan Oil, the New Wonder Drug?’ and
‘Natural Cosmetics. Safe or Not?‘