If You’re Reading This, It’s Time to Throw Out Your Old Beauty Products

There’s one thing we all have in common—we probably all have expired beauty products in our house. I get it, once you buy a beauty product, you don’t want to throw it out before you finish it, particularly if you spent a good chunk of money on it. 

Before you continue using your favorite serum that maybe (definitely) expired a few months ago, keep in mind that you could actually be harming yourself. “If a product is used after the expiration date, it can lose its effectiveness, as well as even cause damage to your skin,” says Dr. Shuting Hu, cosmetic scientist and founder of Acaderma. The same goes for makeup, haircare, and even fragrance. 

I talked to industry experts to find out when exactly is the best time to throw out your old beauty products and opt for newer versions. There are a few guidelines to remember, however. “For all beauty products, it is important to look at the packaging for a product’s shelf life,” says Hu. “Look for a container icon, where it should say how long the product is good for once opened. If there is no icon, an expiration date should be printed at the bottom or on the cap.”

Of course, expiry ranges from product to product. If a product you own is refillable, we recommend re-filling it instead of tossing the whole thing, and be sure to recycle old products instead of throwing them in the garbage whenever possible! Keep reading for specific tips on when to replace skincare, makeup, haircare, and fragrance.


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