Bulk sales and birthdays can quickly lead to the accumulation of bathroom products, from lotions and perfumes, to shampoos and toothpastes. But how long are these common bathroom products really good for, and when is it time to swap them out? Not all products come with an expiration date.
Bathroom Product Expiration
As a general rule, if a product changes color, consistency, or smell, its time to throw it out. Below are common bathroom products, and their expected “expiration dates.”
An expired lotion doesn’t hurt or damage skin, but it doesn’t lock in moisture either. Once opened, most lotions last for about two years. If the bottle is sealed and unopened, however, it’s good for three years.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Like lotions, shampoos and conditioners are good for one or two years after opening, and three years unopened. Keep in mind that when water and air get inside the bottle, it can break down the formula, making it less effective as a cleaning agent.
Bar and Liquid Soaps
Yes, even soaps can expire, particularly if they are made with natural products. Natural soaps are good for about one year. Standard bar or liquid soaps are good for three years. After that, the anti-bacterial properties are less effective.
Sponges and Loofas
Sponges are good for seven weeks, while Loofas are good for only three. Seems pretty short, doesn’t it? Keep in mind the damp, warm environment these materials are stored in. All those little holes can be breeding grounds for bacteria or mold.
There’s a huge variety of makeup for all occasions, but the truth is, if that makeup isn’t being used regularly, it’s a waste of space. Liquid makeups should be rotated every 6 months, while powders are good for about 2 years. Old mascara, moisturizers, or face creams in particular should be inspected regularly because products that come in contact with your skin or eyelashes (such as the mascara brush, or scoop-out creams), can gather bacteria. That bacteria makes a habitat of the moist, dark tubes the makeup is stored in, meaning that old products can lead to bacterial infections. For more details on which makeups need rotating when, refer to this guide.
Depending on the ingredients, scents can degrade over time, whether they become less powerful, or turn pungent. On average, perfumes and colognes are good for 3 to 5 years. The first sign it’s time to toss it is if your perfume or cologne darkens.
Most toothpastes have an expiration date. On average, it’s about 2 years from the day it was manufactured. Like most cleaning products, the cleaning agents in toothpaste break down over time, making it less effective.
Like Toothpaste, mouthwash is usually printed with an expiration date. On average, it’s 3 years from the date it was manufactured.
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