Beauty products and their expiry dates

Our Beauty Contributor Elfreda McGowan joins us today with a post all about the expiry dates on beauty products. Did you know there’s a tiny expiry date symbol on most cosmetic products?

Photo by Glow Repose on Unsplash

Recently I decided to do a big clean out of my handbags and make-up bags, drawers in my bathroom and make-up brushes. I was amazed (and disappointed!) at the amount of stuff I had which had actually expired, so I thought I might share a post here on Happy Magazine about the expiration dates on different types of cosmetic products.

I think expiry dates on beauty products is something that can cause confusion for people, and with Christmas coming up and the likelihood of the inevitable make-up and toiletry gifting that a lot of women receive, now is a good time of year to use up or share products that are on the way out, and also for those of us going through cancer treatment or recovery, a good way of keeping tabs on the germs that may be brewing in our own cupboards.

I was disappointed and shocked when I first learned about these expiration dates, but it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to what you use on your body as at the very least, the products could have oxidised or separated in their bottles, but at worst, they can also harbour bacteria that may cause infections, so it’s a good habit to get into to use what you have before buying more.

Many products now have a symbol that looks like a tiny open jar with a number on it, which can be found in the small print, this represents the number of months a product lasts for once open. For those products that don’t, the following is a good rule of thumb:

2 to 3 Months




Nail Files

Acne Pads

Face Peels & Masks

6 Months to 1 Year

Liquid Eyeliner

Eye Cream

Facial Serum

Liquid Foundation


Acne Creams

Face Wash

1 to 1.5 Years

Cream Eye shadow

Eyebrow Gel

Lip Gloss

Jars of Face Cream


Bars of soap

Shower Gel

2 Years

Lip and Eye Pencils (as they can be sharpened)


Nail Polish

Jars of body lotion

Powder eye shadow

Powder Blush

Jars of Body exfoliator

Foundation Powder

3 Years

Shampoo and conditioner

Pump Body Lotion



I hope you have found this helpful!

Happy Christmas! From Elfreda.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.