These days, using skincare products to take care of our skin is essential as these products support healthy, radiant skin maintenance but appropriate amounts and timely expiration are equally crucial. A “use by” or “expiration” date is usually printed on the package of skincare products where this date signifies the potential start of a product’s quality and efficacy decline.
Even before the product’s expiration date, it may have gone bad if you notice a change in the product’s quality or an odd odour. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Cosmetologist and Skin Expert Dr Jatin Mittal from Abhivrit Aesthetics in New Delhi, explained, “Just as the right ingredients can do wonders for our skin, understanding when to bid farewell to these products is equally essential.”
According to him, here are the general expiration periods for some common skincare products –
· Face Wash: Typically lasts 1 to 2 years.
· Moisturizer: Usually lasts 1 to 3 years.
· Sunscreen: Typically lasts 1 to 2 years.
· Toner: Generally lasts 6 months to 1 year.
· Serum: Usually lasts 6 months to 1 year.
· Exfoliator: Typically lasts 6 months to 1 year.
When opened and exposed to air, some skincare products lose some of their efficacy and the recommended usage term may change:
· Retinol: Up to 2 to 3 months after opening.
· Vitamin C Serum: Up to 3 months after opening.
· Benzoyl Peroxide: Up to 3 months after opening.
Dr Jatin Mittal suggested, “Pay attention to a product’s scent, colour, and consistency if you’re not sure when it will expire. It’s advised to avoid using a product if you detect an odd smell or a change in how it looks and instead choose a new one.”
For users who are diligent about using products once opened, Dr Jatin Mittal highlighted several key practices to keep in mind –
1. Maintain cleanliness: Always wash your hands before using any skincare product to prevent contamination.
2. Storage of the products: Store products in a clean and dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat, and extreme temperatures, and tightly seal them after each use to preserve their quality.
3. Stir well: Gently shake or stir products before use to ensure uniform consistency.
4. Follow directions: Each product has specific usage instructions and recommended amounts. Follow these instructions for optimal results. Following the recommended application frequency and quantity will prevent overuse and help products last longer.
5. Watch for allergic reactions: If you experience itching, redness, or any other adverse reaction while using a product, discontinue use and consult a skin expert.
Dr Jatin Mittal concluded, “Being attentive to your skin’s reactions while using products is equally important. Remember, well-maintained and properly used skincare products contribute to the overall health and appearance of your skin, helping you achieve the radiant complexion you desire. By adhering to these practices, you can enjoy the full benefits of your skincare products and maintain healthy, glowing skin. If you have specific questions about the expiration and usage of a particular product, you can check the brand’s website or the product’s packaging for more information.”