You check the expiration date on milk and would immediately throw it away if it had expired. You would not eat anything that has already expired, so why use expired skin care products? Do you know when it’s time to toss out your skin care products? Most people don’t think twice about beauty or skincare products expiring. If you don’t actively check or know when products expire, you could be using a product with inactive ingredients. 

Since make-up is directly applied to your skin and around your eyes, it’s important to know when to get rid of old foundation, mascara, and other everyday products. Using old products can lead to breakouts or skin irritation. Most makeup companies are not required to print expiration dates on their packages. If there is no expiration date printed, then follow these estimated expiration dates:

  • Liquid Foundation and Concealer: Purchase new every 6 to 12 months or when it changes color
  • Mascara: throw away after 2 to 3 months or when it gets clumpy
  • Powder (face, eye shadow, or blush): throw away after 2 years or when it gets dry and flaky

Tip: If you are using application tools, such as makeup brushes, it is important to clean periodically or buy new brushes if they’re old. These tools can cause breakouts or skin irritation, even if your products are brand new.

Everyone’s skin care routine differs on your skin type, but most people use body lotions, face cream, and anti-aging or anti-acne creams daily.  Using old lotions or creams can also irritate your skin. Only products that are considered drugs, such as acne cream, have printed expiration dates. If your product does not have an expiration date, follow these estimated times to throw your products out:

  • Lotions and Face Cream: throw away after 6 months to 1 year or when the color or scent begins to change
  • Anti-Aging or Anti-Acne Creams: throw away after 1 year, but if your cream contains benzoyl peroxide or some type of antioxidant, which only lasts up to 3 months

Now that the sun is out and the UV rays are stronger, it is time to break out your sunscreen. But are you using sunscreen leftover from last year? This sunscreen may be expired and not protect you. Typically, sunscreens are suppose to last up to 3 years, but some sunscreens have expiration dates printed on their bottles. If your sunscreen has been in your closet for three years or is past its expiration date, throw it out. The last thing you want is to not be protected.

Using these simple guidelines to determine when to throw away your skin care products will protect your skin from breakouts, irritation, or not being protected. If you are skeptical of whether or not your skincare product has expired, it is safer to just throw it away and buy a new one. Your skin is unique to you, so make sure to take good care of it!

For more tips and information on keeping clean and healthy skin, visit DC Derm Docs.