Beth Shapouri, Glamour magazine
If you ever get random pimples or rashes on your skin and wonder where they heck they came from, it could be because you're using a skincare product that's too old. I got a press release from board certified dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban, author of Heal Your Skin, explaining that expired skincare items can grow nasty things like bacteria and mold which can lead to acne and infections. The problem is, it's hard to know when it's time to toss your favorite moisturizer or cleanser. "The European Union Cosmetics Directive requires products with an expiration date of less than 30 months to carry a 'best used by' statement with the date of minimum shelf life," said Dr. Shamban when I followed up with her. "In the US, the FDA does not regulate expiration dates on cosmetic and skincare packaging. Most people don't know how quickly products can spoil, or that they spoil at all," she said.
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If you're not sure whether your stuff is outdated, do a quick sniff test. If it smells funny, it's probably time to toss it. Or if the consistency seems off, that's a clue as well. When you buy a new product, I would suggest writing the date you purchased it somewhere on the jar or tube with a Sharpie to help you keep track of how long you've had it. Then follow these when-to-chuck guidelines from Dr. Shamban's release:
Cleanser: One year
Serum: Six to 12 months
Moisturizer: One year
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Sunscreen: Six months to one year
Acne treatments: Two years
Dr. Shamban also recommends keeping your skincare stash in the fridge-your products will last longer and the cold will give your skin a glow.
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So tell me what's going on in your medicine cabinet-do you have things that are way too old? Fess up in the comments section below.
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