Do You Know the Lifespan of Your Skincare Products?

skinscare products lifespan
the lifespan of skincare products

Did you know your skincare products expire? And no, I’m not talking about a specific date like the gallon of milk and tub of sour cream in your fridge have. Your skincare products have a recommended shelf life and sure, if you use them after that time frame, you’re not going to die but they definitely not going to work as well. 

The Shelf Life of Your Skin Care Products 

On most skin care products, it’s super easy to figure out what the shelf life is! Simply turn the product around to wear all the product information and ingredients are, and there should a small jar icon with the lid off of it with a number on it: six, 12, 18, 24, 36. These refer to the number of months the product is good for! Super straight forward, right!? If your product(s) don’t say how long the shelf life is, assume that it is a year after opening to ensure it still does what it was formulated to do. 

Another thing to keep in mind is the preservatives in products. Just like food, preservatives in skin care products help to lengthen the shelf life of the product. If you’re using skin scare products developed by small businesses or are utilizing products made from clean ingredients, they won’t have as long of a shelf life!

When to Throw a Product Out

If you notice your products have a weird scent to them, the product has separated, the color or texture has changed, or you notice mold spots, it’s time to throw the product out. 

Any products that have to be FDA approved, such as sunscreens and acne treatments, should be thrown away according to the expiration date on them. 

And lastly, any products that are single-use (think any sample products that come in the foil packaging that you rip open!), should be thrown away after the first use, even if there is product left in it. 

Lengthening the Lifespan of Your Skin Care Products

Unopened skin care products can last three to five years, if the seal is still in place. To help avoid this timeframe from being dramatically shortened, be sure to leave these products in a cool dry place! 

When using your skin care products, always wash your hands before touching them so you don’t contaminate the products in the jar, nozzle, etc. with the germs on your hands.

Average Skin Care Product Shelf Life

While the shelf life on skin care products differs from product to product, here’s a general overview of the after shelf life. 

  • Moisturizer, eye cream, and face cream: Six months to one year
  • Sunscreen: One year
  • Anti-aging and acne products: Up to one year (dependent on ingredients)

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  1. 10.13.20

    I definitely did not know this! I feel like I need to go home and clean out my cabinet now haha. Definitely have some things that are out of date! Xx.

  2. 10.13.20

    I will say, I think I use up my skin care products pretty fast, so I don’t ever have them past their shelf life. But I should go look at my sunscreen.

  3. 10.13.20
    Lizzie said:

    Love this post! It’s so important to go through your skincare every so often to make sure everything is still okay to use.


  4. 10.13.20
    Lee said:

    This was so helpful, I didn’t know those expiry guidelines at all!!
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

  5. 10.13.20
    rebecca said:

    I definitely need to go through all of my products and probably throw some out! thanks for these tips, I always forget that everything has a shelf life!

    xx rebecca //

  6. 10.13.20
    GRETA said:

    I definitely need to check the lifespan of some of my products. I hold onto stuff forever!

  7. 10.14.20

    I definitely know I’ve kept products beyond their use by date, but I’ve gotten better with chucking makeup sooner! xoxo, Sarah

  8. 10.14.20
    Stephanie said:

    This is always helpful to know. I think because I don’t tend to collect many skincare products (really only the things I use daily or weekly) I don’t have them past their expiration dates. But for the few things I receive in PR or as gifts, I definitely need to pay attention so I don’t run out of time with them!

  9. 10.14.20
    Rachel said:

    I do this probably twice a year when I get in the mood to organize. It helps clear out my drawers/bins and makes me feel better

  10. 10.15.20
    Laura Leigh said:

    so this is insane but I only started looking at that expiration date a little over 6 months ago and now I follow it to a T! once it’s hit that time I just throw it away! being the clean freak I am – I am all about following that date and making sure I’m using what is best for my skin/body. and anything beyond 12 month expiration date is not purchased by me ahaha – I’m like what do you have in this product that it can last that long when opened!

    xo Laura Leigh

  11. 10.15.20
    Emily Wilkinson said:

    Ugh this is SUCH a good reminder! I am so bad with keeping up with cleaning out my beauty drawers, but definitely need to!

  12. 10.16.20
    Lovely said:

    This is an informative post! I sometimes forget to check the expiry date of my skincare products. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. 10.18.20
    Marlene said:

    Ok wow, I love the expiration date tip! I had no idea and probably have kept my skincare a little too long.

  14. 10.19.20
    Mariah said:

    Love love love this blog post! It’s so informative and important! People need to know this! Also this is why you shouldn’t buy skincare products at places like Marshalls. The lifespan of those products are usually expired.

  15. 10.20.20
    Kristina said:

    These are all great tips! My husband and I actually share a few products so we go through them pretty quickly- but definitely something most people wouldn’t pay attention to!

  16. 10.21.20
    Camille said:

    Such a great post, thanks for sharing!

    Camille xo

  17. 10.22.20
    mahryska said:

    actually have not been particular but i do make sure anything i do not use within the last 6 months, i let go.
    love from the sandpits of dubai..

  18. 10.29.20
    Ally said:

    Wow, something I don’t think about often. Thanks for the great tips.