When we shop at the supermarket, all products have an expiry date and it makes it easier for us to know when and how to consume them. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple when it comes to our cosmetic products. Whether it’s mascara, lipstick, nail polish or foundation, each product has its own shelf life and it’s important to know how long we can keep them.
How to decipher your packaging
As we accumulate cosmetics, we tend to forget when they were opened and take lightly the fact that they should be stored properly. The consumer has practically no way of knowing when the products were designed, however, the producer has the obligation to encode them so that the distributor is able to decipher this code. It is usually a combination of numbers, which cannot be decoded by the consumer. For some time now, however, it has been possible to know the lifespan of most cosmetics thanks to two specific codes.
On the one hand, the DTP, period after opening (see image above); this is a pictogram symbolized by a small open jar and which indicates, in months, the lifespan of the product from its first use, i.e. 12 M, 18 M, 24 M, etc. This does not apply to perfumes or deodorants. On the other hand, the use-by date (UED) which corresponds to the expiry date of the product. It is important to pay close attention to these two mentions when you buy your cosmetics so as not to take the risk of using expired products on the skin.
Consequences of using outdated products
Indeed, using an expired cosmetic product can be risky because some components can cause skin reactions such as redness, itching or irritation. It is essential not only to respect the deadline mentioned on the packaging of your products but also to store them well in order to maximize their shelf life. To do this, remember to store your cosmetics in a dry place away from light and heat to avoid the proliferation of bacteria (so avoid storing your products in the bathroom), use tubes or pump bottles rather than jars to reduce the risk of contamination and finally, clean the inside of your lids to prevent the excess product from oxidizing and contaminating the remaining contents.
You should also follow certain rules of hygiene by washing your hands before using your make-up, regularly cleaning your brushes, and avoiding sharing your beauty products to avoid any risk of infection.
If you feel that some of your products are still of good quality even if they expire, and you decide to continue using them, here are a few tips to help you know that it’s time to part with them:
As for lipstick, if you notice that its smell has turned and it smells like expired oil, it’s time to get rid of it. For powdered eye shadows, if they are dry and you feel that once applied they are powdery and dull, it means they have served their purpose. As for mascara, don’t play with fire and respect the date on the tube so as not to risk damaging your eyes.
Tips on the shelf life of your cosmetics
Mascara and eyeliner: 3 to 6 months
Antics in a tube: 3 to 6 months
Cleansing milk: 6 to 9 months
Foundation: 9 months to 1 year
Blush: 2 to 3 years
Eyeshadow: 2 to 3 years old
Powder: 2 to 3 years
Eye pencil: 2 years
Eyebrow pencil: 2 years old
Lipstick and pencil: 2 years
Nail polish: 12 to 24 months
If you follow these tips and tricks to the letter, you’ll be able to keep your cosmetics in good condition and maximize their shelf life!