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How Long Will My Skincare Product Last?

Most people know that cosmetic and anti-ageing products have expiry dates, but it’s difficult to know when that is idealCheck out our rundown on when to toss cosmetic products.

Both cosmetic and anti-ageing products need to be tossed when they expire for health reasons. Here's what you need to know.

How To Check For Expiration Dates On Your Packaging

In Canada, most cosmetic packages have an image of a small jar with an open lid on them. Written on or near this image is the number of months it is safe to use the product. However, not all jurisdictions require this labelling, so you might not see it on all cosmetics.


When To Throw Out Cosmetics

If you’re a beauty junkie, you likely have more makeup than you could use! However, even if that product you swatched last year is perfect for your outfit, we’ve got bad news for you: you need to throw it out.

This is because aged cosmetics can not only lose their effectiveness, they become breeding grounds for bacteria. They can irritate, and even damage, your skin. Knowing the expiration date of your product can also help prevent waste.

Here's when you should toss each type of cosmetic:

Foundation And Concealers

Powdered eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, and shadows can all last up to two years, so go ahead and splurge on your favourite formula.

  • Concealers last 12-18 months.
  • Oil-free foundations can be used for up to 1 year after opening them.
  • Cream compact foundations last for approximately 18 months.


Eye Makeup

Cream shadows and blushes last twelve to eighteen months.

Pencil eyeliners last a respectable two years, but if you love gel liners, invest in a smaller container or purchase a less pricey brand: they only last three months! The same thing goes for mascara: be ready to toss your formula after just three months.


Lipstick and Glosses

  • Lip pencils can last between 2 and 5 years. You can preserve their lifespan by sharpening them regularly.
  • Lipstick can last up to two years, but should always be sanitized.
  • Lip gloss should be tossed after one year, but if you notice the texture is too goopy...toss it!



Anti-Ageing and Prescription Creams

Knowing the expiry dates of your anti-ageing products is even more important than with your cosmetics. This is because most powerful anti-ageing products have a significant amount of active ingredients. Oxygen, light, heat, and bacteria can all affect your formula.

While this sometimes means that your formula will lose efficacy, sometimes it can also mean the opposite: your product will become more concentrated as. And no, this doesn’t mean that you should leave that peel for six to get powerful results: the outcome is often harsh and unpredictable.

When it comes to anti-ageing products:

Cleansing and Acne Treatment Wipes last for approximately 2 months.

Skin lightening products containing hydroquinone often start to lose their potency after about 2 months.

Acne treatments based in benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid last between 4 and 5 months.

Retinoid creams last between 9 to 11 months.

Our Tip: Water-based formulas evaporate more quickly, especially if they’re in the heat or light. Products with a pump tend to last much longer.

Still Not Sure? Toss products if you see:

  • a change in colour
  • a change in smell
  • separation
  • a change in texture
  • fuzzy or mouldy spots


Contact Us

If you’re looking to select high-quality products with proven results, our team will help you find the right products for your needs. You can reach us at  250-868-9290 or through our online contact form.

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Donna McAteer

Donna McAteer

Donna is the general manager and has been with the Okana­gan Skin Care Cen­tre for over 14 years. She is a certified Es­theti­cian and previous business owner with over 20 years enjoying the skin care industry. Her passion for knowledge, integral client care and maintaining a syn­er­gis­tic team that represents professional excellence in skin care remains her focus.

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