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Do BEAUTY PRODUCTS Have a Limited Shelf Life?

Skincare and make-up don’t last for ever.  Here is how to know when your beauty products are actually past their best.


Read the labels

Did you know that, just like food, most beauty products have sell-by dates?

On the back of the packaging you often find a little picture of a tub with a number inside it. This is known as the PAO (period-after-opening) symbol and indicates how long the product is good for once it has been opened (note: not from when it was bought). 


Look and sniff

Another key indicator that a product may have passed its best is how it looks and smells.

  • Some products, like foundations, can separate over time.
  • Lipsticks and cream blushers can get a slightly milky film on the surface, or dry out and crack.
  • Creams like moisturisers and eye cream can slightly curdle
  • And skincare with active ingredients (such as vitamin C serum or retinol night cream) can start to smell differently. If it doesn’t look or smell right, don’t use it!


The risk of bacteria developing

Products like mascara, liquid eyeliner and anything that touches your skin and then goes back into its packaging are a breeding site for germs.

This is more true for make-up than skincare because generally with skin products, you apply them onto clean skin with clean hands.

However, make-up is often touched up "on the go" or during the day when your skin and hands have been exposed to far more. 


It’s all about the storage

Storing your products properly will help their longevity. It is better to keep any product whether it is make-up or skin care out of direct sunlight.

Tucked away in a bathroom cupboard is preferable over a shelf in full light.

Our own Simply range of Beauty Products come in a dark glass bottle, helping them to last indefinitely.


How long should beauty products last?

Mascara – six months
Eyeshadow – nine to 36 months
Foundation – 12 months
Liquid Liner – six months
Moisturiser – six to 12 months
Serum – six to 12 months
Face mask – six to 12 months