We all pay attention to expiry dates on food and medications, but how often do you consider the freshness of the beauty products you use regularly? Watch the video above or read the article below and find out why you should be paying more attention to the expiry date on your face cream…

The dangers of using expired face creams go further than simply being less effective and can be more serious than you realise. The fact is that as face creams, makeup and other products get older they can become rancid, become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and expose your body to a range of potential problems.

Many of the ingredients used in beauty products have a distinct shelf life and after this time they run the risk of becoming unhealthy. Organic products, in particular, can contain natural food-based ingredients that will go bad even quicker. But almost all beauty products run the risk of building up bacteria, mould, yeast and even dust.


Any of these substances can interact negatively with your body

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As you apply face cream to your skin, any substances in it can be directly absorbed into the body through the pores, causing deep-seated health problems. For this reason, it is important to check your beauty products (especially makeup) regularly and get rid of any that may have been hanging around too long.

What happens if you use expired face products, like expired face cream?

The specific dangers of using expired face creams include

  • leaving you open to allergic reactions,
  • acne, skin infections,
  • extremely dry skin and even skin discolouration.

As the ingredients in your face cream go bad, the cream itself will lose effectiveness and you’ll be forced to use more of it to get the same effect, thus exposing yourself to these threats even more.


Since the skin of the face is some of the most sensitive on the entire body, it is extremely important that you treat it properly and avoid exposing it to potential contaminants. Bacteria can be particularly harmful as it not only affects the surface of the skin but can also open the entire body to infection. The reason you use face cream in the first place is to avoid this kind of damage so you don’t want the cream itself to become an issue.

Here’s how to avoid using expired face cream

So how can you stay one step ahead of damaging bacteria and other substances?

Look for the face cream expiration date: The easiest step is to check the packaging for an actual expiration date. If there isn’t one listed, then you need to take note of when you first open and use the product as that is when its shelf life begins. Many cosmetic products have this symbol on their packaging, indicating for how many months it is safe to use once open.

How long do beauty products last? Look for this symbol to find out when your face cream expires
Many cosmetic products have this symbol on their packaging, indicating for how many months it is safe to use once open.


Also, be aware of how the product looks and smells so you’ll be able to note any changes over time. If the face cream smells bad, it is best to throw it away.

Many beauty products, especially organic ones that don’t use chemical preservatives, will change colour and/or begin to smell funny as they go bad.  If your face cream doesn’t look or smell the way it did when you first started using it, chances are it has outlived its usefulness. If you have any doubt about the freshness of your face cream, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t assume that there are no dangers of using expired face creams. The substances you put on your body can have just as great an effect as those you put in your body so it is extremely important that you ensure they are fresh. When it comes to beauty products, you don’t want to take any chances; when in doubt, throw it out!

Last updated on 15 January 2019