The expiration date of cosmetics differs depending on whether they are unopened or after opening. Cosmetics and skin care items that have deteriorated in quality due to old age may be less effective or cause skin problems. We asked Kaoru Suganuma to teach us about proper storage methods and paraben-free cosmetics that are often misunderstood.
Table of contents
- List of recommended expiration dates for cosmetics
- What are preservatives and stabilizers that maintain the quality of cosmetics?
- What happens if you use expired cosmetics?
- Points for storing cosmetics
- Do not use! How to recognize expired cosmetics
- It is important to use cosmetics within the expiration date.
List of recommended expiration dates for cosmetics
Most cosmetics do not have expiration dates. However, cosmetics also have expiration dates. From here, we will introduce the approximate expiration date of cosmetics.
Expiration date of unopened cosmetics
Use up unopened cosmetics within 3 years. In general, unopened cosmetics are manufactured so that they do not separate or degrade for three years after manufacturing, and the manufacturer guarantees the quality. In addition, instead of the expiration date, the product is marked with a number called “lot number”, so that the manufacturer can determine the date of manufacture and the manufacturing status.
Shelf life of cosmetics after opening
Depending on the product, it seems that the quality of the product does not change even if it is opened, but it is recommended to use it up within 3 to 6 months after opening. Most of the ingredients in cosmetics are water. This is because water is the most perishable substance, and there is a possibility that the product will change in quality, such as foreign matter entering when the package is opened.
It is often written that food should be served as soon as possible after opening. Think of cosmetics in the same way.
Since it is not possible to tell when cosmetics are used by looking at the product, it is recommended to start using the product within two and a half years after purchase, and within six months after opening.
Expiration date of free cosmetics
When you receive a free sample of cosmetics, you don’t use it right away, but sometimes you save it for travel. The expiry date of free sample cosmetics is basically the same as that of commercially available cosmetics.
However, since the container may be simple, try to use it up within a year.
Expiration date of skin care cosmetics (basic cosmetics)
It is important to use the basic cosmetics used for daily skin care in the freshest possible state. It would be a good idea to use up one season as a guideline.
If it has not been used for a while, it is safe to use it after first checking for separation, turbidity, odor, or discoloration.
Expiration date of base makeup cosmetics such as foundation
Make sure to use up cosmetics used for base makeup, such as foundation, makeup base, and concealer, within 6 months. The degree of deterioration of foundation varies depending on how it is stored, so be sure to check the condition before use.
In the case of powder foundation, if the surface is solidified with sebum, it has deteriorated. Liquid foundation should be avoided if there is sediment, bad smell or separation.
Expiration date for eyeshadow and cheeks
As point makeup cosmetics such as eyeshadow and cheeks become old and deteriorate in quality, changes can be seen such as the luster of pearls and lame losing their luster and the color not developing beautifully. Use up within 6 months.
In addition, since the kneaded type deteriorates faster than the powder type, if there is visible deterioration such as cracks, it is a sign that it is time to throw it away.
Shelf life of lipsticks and glosses
Lipsticks and glosses have an expiration date of about one year if stored properly, but since they are cosmetics that are applied directly to the lips, it is easy for bacteria to grow. It is best to use it up within 6 months.
If there is discoloration or a strange smell, it is safer to avoid using it so as not to cause chapped lips.
sunscreen expiry date
Sunscreens, which protect the skin from ultraviolet rays, are cosmetics that are often placed under direct sunlight or in locations subject to extreme temperature changes.
If it deteriorates, the UV cut effect will decrease, so let’s use it up within one season. UV rays are shining all year round, so if you take care of UV rays every day, you can prevent spots and dryness, and you can easily use up the sunscreen.
For midsummer sunscreen with high SPF, we recommend purchasing a small size so that you can use it all in one season.
Expiration date of body lotion and body cream
Body lotions and body creams, which moisturize the skin and protect it from dryness, deteriorate just like cosmetics.
Since it is used for skin care of the whole body, it is serious if there is an adverse effect. For safe use, it is best to use the product within 6 months after opening.
What are preservatives and stabilizers that maintain the quality of cosmetics?
Cosmetics are made up of water, oil, surfactants, and beauty ingredients. Most cosmetics and cosmetics contain preservatives and stabilizers to prevent them from deteriorating, deteriorating, or separating. Preservatives are necessary to maintain the quality of cosmetics for a certain period of time.
Among the preservatives, parabens are the only ones that have been vilified, and some people seem to think that “paraben-free” products are safe. But that is wrong. Paraben was once a preservative designated as a “labeled ingredient (*1)”, so that image may have permeated. However, its toxicity is relatively low, and it is said that there are few cases of skin irritation and hypersensitivity.
In the case of “paraben-free”, most cases contain preservatives other than parabens, and alcohol (ethanol) may be included instead. Please know that “paraben-free” does not mean preservative-free.
Some people think that cosmetics that claim not only “paraben-free” but also “preservative-free” do not contain any antiseptic ingredients, but that is not necessarily the case. If it does not contain preservatives, it is a single-use type with a small amount or a short expiration date. Please check the display carefully and choose according to the usage and expiration date display.
Be aware that organic cosmetics have a shorter shelf life.
Organic cosmetics made with only natural ingredients do not use scientifically synthesized preservatives, so it is recommended to use them up earlier than regular cosmetics.
As a guideline, it should be considered within 3 months after opening.
What happens if you use expired cosmetics?
Cosmetics that have passed their expiration date may not be able to fully demonstrate their original effects due to deterioration in quality.
In addition, deteriorated cosmetics can cause skin problems rather than clean the skin. In order to use the cosmetics that bring out your charm in good condition, be conscious of using them up as soon as possible.
Points for storing cosmetics
Here are some tips for storing cosmetics.
Store in a cool, well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight
The expiration date of the cosmetics we have talked about so far is based on the premise that they are stored and used under the standard environment in Japan. Cosmetics are very delicate.
I hate high temperature, high humidity, and big temperature changes. Avoid placing it near a window or near a heater that receives direct sunlight. Place it in a room temperature place with little temperature change, preferably in a well-ventilated place around 20°C.
In addition, a dry and well-ventilated place is even better. It will be easier to understand if you think of this as the same as food.
I’ve been asked if it’s okay to put lotion on the washbasin on the bathroom side because I apply skin care immediately after washing my face or taking a bath. The room temperature and humidity should be suitable for people to wash their face (laughs), and if you use the right amount of lotion, you should be able to use up the lotion in about 3 to 6 months.
However, be careful not to let water get into the container. Some creams in particular do not like moisture (humidity), so depending on the product, we recommend placing it in a different location.
Is it okay to put it in the refrigerator?
On the contrary, is it because it’s cold and feels good? I heard that some people keep lotion in the fridge, but unless it says “must be refrigerated”, you shouldn’t. When applying cosmetics to the skin, it is better to warm them with the palm of your hand before applying them, so cooling them in the refrigerator has the opposite effect (see Part 3). It also does not need to be refrigerated to preserve its quality.
Now is the time to choose what is best for your body. If you use Japanese cosmetics, most of them are fine as long as you keep them in a cool, dark place and use them within six months of opening.
Use a clean spatula to remove skin care cream, etc., instead of using your fingers to keep it clean. Frequent cleaning and replacement of puffs, makeup sponges, brushes, tips, etc. will prevent the growth of germs.
A good rule of thumb is to wash once a week. The point is to wash it with a special cleaning solution or a neutral detergent that does not irritate the skin, and then dry it thoroughly.
close the lid tightly
Cosmetics oxidize when exposed to air. Oxidation may cause discoloration and change in odor, so be sure to close the cosmetic lid tightly after each use.
Refilling cosmetics increases the chances of exposure to air and the possibility of dust entering, which may accelerate deterioration. When refilling, be careful not to allow dust to enter.
Write the date you started using it on the container.
Since there are many items for cosmetics, it is difficult to remember the expiration date of each one. Many cosmetics have the manufacturing date written only on the outer box. It is a good idea to write the “date you started using” on the container so that you can use it up before the expiration date.
If you want to avoid writing directly on the container, you can save the outer box or write it all together on a calendar.
Do not use! How to recognize expired cosmetics
If you find cosmetics that you don’t know when you bought them, first check the condition. If any of the following characteristics are observed, it is safer to avoid using it.
- Discoloration: White color becomes yellowish, transparent liquid becomes cloudy, etc.
- Texture/Texture: Greasy, rough, etc.
- Aroma/Smell: Smells sour, smells different from when you bought it, etc.
- Separation: Water and oil are separated
If it is difficult to judge, try a patch test on the inside of your upper arm, which has a similar thickness to the skin on your face, to see if it looks okay.
It is important to use cosmetics within the expiration date.
Cosmetics oxidize and deteriorate, so it is recommended that you buy them whenever you run out rather than hoarding them.
Be careful not to be deceived by advertisements that only focus on “good” things, out of excessive concern about the burden on your skin. Choose a product that suits your current skin and that feels good to use, and use it according to the expiration date.