What is the Shelf Life of Skincare Products?

What is the Shelf Life of Skincare Products?

Most of us simply use skincare products until they run out. But is there more to it than that? What about that one product you just started using that you found in the back of your cupboard? In this article, we’re going to explore how to determine the shelf life of your skincare products, so that you can put your best face forward.

The Golden Rule: When Does Skincare Expire?

For many skincare products, there’s a really simple way to figure out when you should no longer use them. On an unopened jar, you can usually locate the numbers: 6, 12, 24, or 36. This number indicates the number of months that the product is good for after it’s opened. Strangely enough, for most women, this sounds like skincare’s best-kept secret. So, now you know!


What about the skincare products that don’t indicate an expiry timeline? Alright, so here’s the golden rule: the shelf life of most skincare products is about one to two years. Thus, if you’re really unsure, a safe bet is to only use products that have been opened within one year. For unopened products, you can probably safely assume they won’t expire for two years.


Alternatively, some skincare products, such as sunscreen and acne solutions, come with an exact expiration date. This is usually because they tend to contain more active or “chemical” ingredients that lose their capabilities over a set time.

How To Tell When a Skincare Product is No Good…

You can likely use common sense here. However, if your product is emitting any of the following, it’s time to toss it!


  • Bad or “off” smell
  • The ingredients are separating
  • The texture is different from when you first got it or opened it
  • The color changed
  • There is obvious mold, such as blue, black, or green spots.

Proper Skincare Storage Tips

Another part of the equation you want to consider is where and how you store your skincare products. This can make all the difference between them going “bad” quickly versus you being able to use them.


Sunny, humid, and hot environments tend to break down the ingredients in skincare products, making them expire or “go bad” faster. This is why it’s usually recommended to store your skincare routine items in a cool, dark, and dry place. Many people opt for under the sink or in a cabinet in their bathroom to maintain these conditions and their products.


Another tip here: Don’t let water get into your skincare containers!


This can be a recipe for disaster (aka mould). Thus, always ensure your products are properly sealed and that you don’t cross-contaminate anything in their separate jars.


This also means washing your hands before using any of your regular products (Hint: This also protects your skin!). 

Skincare for Over 40’s…

If you’re looking to revamp your skincare routine, Vital Momentum can help you do just that. Formulated for women 35+, our formulas cater to the changes that occur during this season of life, helping you maintain healthy, youthful, and glowing skin. 


At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to put their best face forward? When our skin looks and feels its best, we feel our best and are able to perform at our peak capabilities. Get your skincare routine and rules down, and your entire health and life improve!

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