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How Old Are Your Skincare Products?


If you can’t remember the last time you replaced that moisturizer or when you bought that mask, maybe it’s time to throw them out. We’re all well aware of the risks of eating or drinking food past its expiration date, but did you know that skincare products go bad, too? Dermatologists warn that using skincare products past their prime may be just as dangerous as eating food that has spoiled. Many skincare products contain active ingredients that can go bad over time, so check out this list to see when you should throw them out and get new.

Moisturizing Creams

Use up moisturizing creams within a year of purchase, especially if they contain anti-aging ingredients like MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Cream. Plain moisturizers can last well past this mark, but be ware of contamination which can happen every time you dip into the jar.

Grainy Scrubs

These hearty cleansers/exfoliants can last up to two years. Again, be ware of an open tube because it can become a virtual breeding ground for contamination and bacteria.

Acne Treatments

Use these skincare products quickly – within six months of purchase – because benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, the two most common active ingredients, break down and become ineffective quickly. Keep these products in the refrigerator for maximum potency.


Sunscreen can last quite a long time – up to two years, although length of time can vary. Be sure to check the expiration date before using and keep it in the cooler when out in the sun. Trash the tube if it’s been left in a hot car or out in the sun for extended periods of time.

Peels and Masks

These types of skincare products need to be used quickly, too – before three months. After this point, the buffering agents begin to evaporate leaving active ingredients such as glycolic and fruit acids more potent and irritating.

If the skincare products you are using don’t have an expiration date, but you’re unsure of how old they are, it’s probably best to replace them. If you notice any color change or change in smell, throw it out. It’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to potentially outdated skincare products.





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