Many of us are not aware that our skincare products all have a life span. How many times have you gone through your cabinet and discovered that a skincare you bought 10 years ago s still in your drawer.

Sometimes, we really do have an attachment to our skin care products and often find it difficult to throw them into the bin.

However, this is a habit we must develop and regularly do a spring clean of our cabinet, to clean up and discard products that are past their expiration dates.

Expiration dates

Most skincare products will usually have an expiration date. BSN Skincare products mostly have an expiation date of 1 year for the products composed majorly of natural ingredients and extracts like the Deep Cleansing Face Wash, Antioxidant Shine Face Cream, Vitamin C with Tranexamic Acid Serum and Solution Serum. These dates are usually found on the container of these products, along with their production dates and Batch numbers.

Period After Opening (PAO)

Some of our longer lasting products like the Clear Skin serum, Solution Face Cream , Glow Face Toner,  have a lifespan of about 2 years from production date, there may be a prescribed period after opening number which tells you how long the product is good after it’s been opened.


Look for a little symbol that looks like an open jar with a number and the letter M.

This will let you know how many months you can use a product after you’ve opened it.

For instance, 18M means it’s good for 18 months, etc.


What Happens when you use expired products?

Some active ingredients in the product may no longer be as effective as well as the preservative system, meaning that the product may be contaminated with microbes.

How to avoid this?

  1. Avoid stockpiling products, only buy products that you can finish within 3 months of consistent use.
  2. Make a habit of marking the date you purchased or opened a skincare product
  3. Discard skincare products that have spilled, smell, look or feel different from the first time you used it.
  4. Store skincare products correctly, e.g don’t leave your skincare products on a hot window or inside a hot car
  5. Keep things clean, avoid touching your products with dirty fingers . Wash your hands before applying products and when possible, opt for products in that come in packaging that includes a pump, and avoid any pots that you have to dip your fingers in. If products are in a pot container, use a small spatula or utensil rather than your fingers and wash after each use.

We  have a tendency to abandon products when we don’t see immediate results, even though some are formulated to show improvement over time.

A good rule is to use a product until it’s gone.

Chances are, if you’re applying something regularly (in accordance with the product’s use instructions), you’ll use it up before it has a chance to expire.

Plus, regular use is the best way to see results from most formulas.

And, unless you’re using a product really regularly, avoid buying in bulk.

It might seem like a good deal to get 2 moisturizers at a slight discount, but if one expires before you can use it, you’re not really saving money.

Here’s a handy guide that gives you a basic breakdown of whether your beloved cosmetics should stay or go.


Shelf Life Of Cosmetics & Makeup Once Opened

  • Mascara: 2 – 3 months. Bacteria can build up on the wand and cause eye irritation. Pumping the wand in and out can dry the mascara out faster. Discard sooner if the mascara develops an off smell or becomes clumpy. If you develop any eye irritations, be sure to throw out all eye makeup and start over.


  • Foundation: Powder – 18 months. Liquid – 6-12 months. Bacteria can grow in the foundation and cause acne breakouts or skin irritation. If it develops an off-smell, discard sooner.


  • Concealer: Powder or stick form – 2 years. Liquid – 1 year. Once again, bacteria can grow causing skin irritation. Toss sooner if color has changed as that indicates it is past its prime.


  • Face Powder: 2 years.


  • Blush: Powder – 2 years. Cream – 1 year. To promote longevity of powder blush wash your makeup brush regularly to get rid of oil build up from moisturizer and foundation.


  • Eye Shadow: Powder – 2 years. Cream – 3-6 months. If, however, you get an eye infection it is recommended to toss eye shadow sooner than other powders as it is in close contact with your eyes.


  • Eyeliner: Liquid or gel – 2-3 months. Pencil – 1 to 2 years, as long as sharpened between uses. Like eye shadow, eyeliner can become contaminated more easily and spread the bacteria around, and since you’re putting the product close to your eye that’s just not good. Pencils last longer if they are sharpened regularly, which physically removes bacterial growth. If a white filmy tip develops on the pencil tip and can’t be sharpened off, it is past its prime.


  • Lipstick and Liner: 1 year, unless you’ve been sick, then immediately toss it. Lipstick is past its prime if it is hard and is difficult to spread or develops an off smell.


  • Nail polish: Unless it doesn’t mix when it is shaken, nail polish is good indefinitely. (Here’s more informaton about proper nail polish storage, plus organization ideas.)


  • Makeup Brushes: Replace when bristles are falling out. Otherwise clean with lukewarm water and a gentle shampoo/soap weekly to keep them free of bacteria.

Toiletries Have Expiration Dates Too

We may not consider it often, but the other products in our bathroom can also lose their effectiveness with time and exposure to bacteria from use.

Many of the same rules apply with toiletries as mentioned above with makeup.

Moisturizers should be tossed after a year. Shampoo and conditioner should be discarded after two years.

Toothpaste comes with an expiration date of usually two years. Deodorant can be good for up to 3 years, unless it becomes crumbly, in which case it should be discarded.

And, perhaps surprisingly, loofahs and bath sponges should be replaced every 3 – 6 weeks. They are kept in a warm, humid environment and have a lot of surface area for bacteria to live. Best to be safe and buy these items more often.