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COSMETIC EXPIRED!? When To Throw Away? [Beauty Tips]

Hello everyone, today I am back with beauty tips that is very important to know and do: “COSMETIC EXPIRED!?”. Some of us may have heard or know about this already, while the others may not know at all. Although some beauty bloggers, both local and international ever discussed this, but we hardly, let alone pay attention to it, think about it and really check on our cosmetics expiry date. Therefore, I would like to raise this topic and encourage you all to be more attentive.

I was also a careless girl who hardly pay attention to my cosmetics’ expiry date. However, as a makeup junkie, I piled heaps of cosmetics in my drawer. I was also hardly sell or give out my makeup that are still good to us, and throw my expired makeup away. It was till I became a certified makeup artist, then, I became more aware of cosmetics hygiene and safety. As a makeup artist, I have to be more attentive in how I keep the cosmetics (I have to make sure that the lid close tightly, for example), cleaning (hygiene) and checking on my cosmetics’ expiry date. Who would like to use dirty makeup? How do you feel if you find out that your makeup artist use expired cosmetics? I would be horrified, and will wipe out all the makeup immediately. I don’t want harmful products to ruin my face, and if it causes skin issue (for more information of the impact, click here), I will ask the MUA to take responsibility by paying my doctor and skin treatment bills. So, if I don’t want such things happening to me and my clients, I have to do the right things. It’s for my own good and for my clients’ health and safety, right?

How about you? If you are a Makeup Artists like me, I encourage you to start doing the same thing, if you haven’t already; if you have done it, I will encourage you to keep it up! I know how much efforts needed, but it’s for our own reputations too. Clients will be happier and more satisfied with us, as they see how much we care for them.



Shelf Life and Expiration Dates

It is the period during which the manufacturer has determined a product to be best suited for use. In other words, we are suggested to use the products before the indicated dates, and not to use it afterwards.

Currently, there are two ways to check shelve’s life of products: by calculating the shelve’s life using the manufacturing date, or by checking the best before or expiration date, or the PAO (Period After Opening) label.

I am not so sure how the Indonesian government regulate this matter (If you know or have some information regarding this, please share the information on the comment section below so more people can be more aware about this, thank you!). However, I notice that most companies do tag either expiry date, or best before, or their manufacturing date on the packaging (box or plastic wraps) or on the products (either on the body or on the bottom of the products). So, try to find it and take notes for your own sake and/or your client’s safety and health. If you cannot find it anywhere, I am highly suggesting you to contact the customer care department of the company who produced the product and ask for it.


Cosmetic Calculator

I recently came across Check Cosmetics where you can check expiry date just by typing in the product’s batch code. It can be found on the bottom of the container or somewhere near it, or else, you can find it on the packaging of the product packaging.

Basically, the apps help you to determine the manufacture date of cosmetics or perfume by the batch code or lot number, and provides general information about product shelf life. When using the calculator, please kindly note that it is not applicable for all products yet.So, I encourage you to call the company to find the shelves live (expiry date/PAO) information if you cannot find the brand on the list.

Here is a quick example. On my Benefit Primer, instead of putting expiry date, they printed the manufacturing code on the top-back-side of the packaging. To find out when the best before prediction date is, I typed it on the code, “6R09” on the “Enter Code” box of the calculator. As for the Brand’s name, I selected Benefit Cosmetics, then hit the “calculate” button. The result is as shown below, it tells me that my current primer was manufactured on April 2016, and the shelf lives is up to 36 months. If I have not opened it yet, I still have 31 months to go before it goes bad. However, since I have opened it, I only have 1 year (PAO) max to finish the product.

Currently, the calculator is only supported the following list of brands:

Adidas, Adolfo Dominguez, Aerin, Aesop, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Ahava, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Alpha Hydrox, Alfred Sung,American Beauty, Amway, Angel Schlesser, Anna Lotan, Anna Sui, Annick Goutal, Antonio Banderas Fragrances, Aramis, Argital,Armand Basi, Artistry, Aquolina, Arnaud, Aura Cacia, Avalon Organics, Aussie, Aveda, Aveeno, Avon, Axe, Azzaro, Badgley Mischka, Banana Boat, Bare Escentuals, Bath & Body Works, Baldessarini, Balenciaga, Balmain, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Beautycycle, Babe Laboratorios, Benefit Cosmetics, Beyonce, Bioderma, Biosilk, Biotherm, Bliss, Blumarine, Bob Mackie, Bobbi Brown, Bottega Veneta,Borghese, Boucheron, Bourjois, Brelil, Britney Spears, Bruno Banani, Brylcreem, Bumble and bumble, Burberry, Burt’s bees, Bvlgari, CAC, Cacharel, Camay, Canmake, Carmex, Carolina Herrera, Caron, Cartier, Calvin Klein, Celine Dion, Cerruti, Cetaphil, Chanel, Cezanne, Charmzone, CHI, Chicco, Chloe, Chopard, Christian Dior, Christina, Christina Aguilera, Clairol Professional, Clarins, Clean & Clear, Clinique, Coach Fragrances, Coffret D’or, Collistar, Comme des Garcons, Coppertone, Cosme Decorte, Covergirl, Crabtree & Evelyn, Creed, Custo Barcelona, Cyclax, Davidoff, David Beckham, DDF, DHC, Darphin, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donald Trump Fragrances, Donna Karan, Dove, Dr.Ci:Labo, Dr.Hauschka, Dr.Jart+, DSQUARED2, Dunhill, e.l.f. (Eyes Lips Face), Elemis, Elite Models, Elizabeth Arden, Elizabeth Taylor, Emilio Pucci, Everyday Minerals, Escada, Esprit, Essence, Estee Lauder, Faces Cosmetics,Faconnable, Faith Hill, Fekkai, Fendi, Ferragamo, Fissan, Flirt!, Fresh, Fruit of the Earth, Gai Mattiolo, GA-DE Cosmetics, Gap, Garnier, Geoffrey Beene, Gianfranco Ferre, Giorgio Armani, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Giovanni Cosmetics, Givenchy, Gloria Vanderbilt, Goldwell, Good Skin, Green People, Guess, Gucci, Guerlain, Guinot, Guy Laroche, H2O+, Halle Berry, Halston, Head & Shoulders,Helena Rubinstein, Herbacin, Herbal Essences, Hermes, Hipitch, Hugo Boss, Impress, Inglot, Isabella Rossellini, IsaDora, Issey Miyake, It Cosmetics, Jacques Bogart, Jane Iredale, Jessica Simpson, Jason, Janssen Cosmeceutical, JC de Castelbajac, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jesus Del Pozo, Jil Sander, Jill Stuart, Jimmy Choo, Jo Malone, Joe Blasco, John Masters Organics, Joop!, Jovan, Juicy Couture, JUJU, Justin Bieber, Kanebo, Kaaral, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Cole, Kenzo, Kenzoki, Kerastase, Kiehl’s, Kiton, Korff, Korres, Kose, L’Artisan Parfumeur, L’Oreal, La Colline, La Mer, La Prairie, La Roche-Posay, Lab Series, Lacoste, Lalique, Lancaster, Lancome,Lanvin, Laura Biagiotti, Laura Mercier, Lee Stafford, Lierac, Lime Crime, Lirene, Liz Claiborne, Lunasol, Lux, Lolita Lempicka, MAC, Macadamia, Make Up Factory, Make Up For Ever, Mandarina Duck, Mariah Carey, Marc Ecko, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Mary Cohr, Mary Kay, Masaki Matsushima, Matis, Matrix, Mavala, Max Factor, Maybelline, MD Formulations, Mentholatum, Michael Kors, Milbon, Missha, Missoni, Mizon, Molton Brown, Mont Blanc, Moschino, Murad, Narciso Rodriguez, NARS, NYX, NailTek, Naomi Campbell,Natori, Natural Instincts, Nautica, Neutrogena, Nice ‘n Easy, Nicki Minaj, Nikos, Nina Ricci, Nioxin, Nivea, Nu Skin, Nutrilite, Nuxe, Ojon, Olay, OPI, Oriflame, Origins, Orlane, Orofluido, Osiao, Paco Rabanne, Palmer’s, Paloma Picasso, Pantene, Paris Hilton, Paul Mitchell, Paul Smith, Payot, Pert, Peter Thomas Roth, Philosophy, Phyto, Pierre Cardin, Pond’s, Prada, Prescriptives, Puma, Pupa, Queen Helene, Queen Latifah, Radox, Ralph Lauren, Redken, Rejoice, REN, RevitaLash, Revlon, Rexona, Rihanna, Rimmel, Roberto Cavalli, Roberto Verino, RoC, Rodan and Fields, Rossmann, S.T. Dupont, SK-II, Safeguard, Salerm, Sanoflore, Sans Soucis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Schwarzkopf, Sean John, Sebastian Professional, Sephora, Serge Lutens, Shakira, Shu Uemura, Sibu Beauty, Simple,Sisley, Smashbox, Skin79, SkinCeuticals, Skinfood, Slava Zaitsev, Sleek MakeUP, Sofina, Sonia Rykiel, St Ives, St. Tropez, Stella McCartney, Stila, StriVectin, Styx, Sunsilk, Swarovski, Syoss, Talika, Taylor Swift, Ted Lapidus, Thalgo, The Face Shop, Thierry Mugler, Tigi, Tom Ford Beauty, Tom Tailor, Tommy Hilfiger, Tony Moly, Too Faced, Tory Burch, Tous, TRESemme, True Religion,Trussardi, Ungaro, Urban Decay, Uriage, Usher, Valentino, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vaseline, Venus, Vera Wang, Vichy, Victoria’s Secret, Victorio & Lucchino, Vidal Sassoon, Viktor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood, Versace, VO5, Wella, Yves Rocher, Yves Saint Laurent, Zara,Zirh.


Expiry dates Labels:

Generally speaking, most products that are unopened can be kept up to 3 years. Nevertheless, to be safe, I am still highly suggesting you all to take notes the expiry dates or the PAO, which usually printed either on the body, or at the bottom of the body, or at the packaging.

Expiration date is the date after which you cosmetics product will be expired and should not be used anymore. It is usually printed in the form month/year or day/month/year. For example, EXP 09/10, which means the product can be used until September 2010 only; EXP 16/09/2017 means the product is good to be used only till 16 September 2017.

Here is a quick example. On my Bioderma Micellar Watter bottle, it’s printed below, near the bottom of the bottle. It says 12/17, which means it’s good to use before December 2017.


Another example, the expiry date of my Ver.88 Lip Pencil is printed on its cap with year/month/date format, 20190714, which means it’s good to be used up to 14 July 2019. Meanwhile, it’s printed on the box packaging of my BLP liquid lipstick, which says “exp: Mei 19”, means it’ll expired on Mei 2019. So it can be anywhere, you just need to search for it.

Period After Opening Labels:

If the such date is not printed, which usually is the case with products with shelf live more than 30 months, for example 3 years, I am highly suggesting to check for Period After Opening (PAO) label. It is usually marked by “Open Jar” sign with a number follower by the letter M, which indicates how many months the product can be safely used after it is opened. For example, my Liquid Lipstick PAO is 18M; it means that the product can be used during eighteen months after opening. In my case, I just opened it yesterday, so it is safe to use for the next 18 months, which until February 2018.

To easily find out and maintain PAO date after we opened a makeup, I recommend you to apply a sticker to it or simply write on the packaging with a marker, the current date when you opening it, or the PAO end-date.

For example, on my skincare jar, it’s printed on the side of the jar’s body. It says 12M, means it is safe to use for the next 12 months since I opened the jar.

Meanwhile, my NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is lasted up 18M = 18 months after I opened it. So, I just opened it last Sunday, 25 September 2016, means I can use it up to 25 February 2018.

In average, here is the general PAO for makeup:

  • Perfumes – up to 3 years
  • Powders (blush, eyeshadows with powdery texture) – 1 to 3 years
  • Foundation in ajar or a cream powder – 1 to 3 years
  • Liquid makeup (in tubes or jars with dispensers) – 1 year
  • Nail Polish – 1 year
  • Sun cosmetics – 1 year
  • Lipstick, lip gloss – 1 year
  • Pencil (eye, lip) – about 1 year
  • Skincare products (hydrating cosmetics, wrinkle, eye contour) in a sealed packet with the pump – about 1 year in jar / from 6 – 10 months
  • Solid eyeliner and eyebrow pencil – from 6 – 8 motnhes
  • Bronzing – 6 months
  • Mascara 3 – 6 months
  • Liquid eyeliner – 3 – 4 months
  • Natural / Organic products – up to 6 months


That’s all my sharing about Expiry Dates for Cosmetic Products. I hope the information above can help all of us to be more alert of cosmetic expiry dates, so we can avoid its dangers that may cause harms for our skin.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post, and I am not affiliated in any ways with any of the brands or other websites mentioned above. All opinions expressed are unbiased and of my own.

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Blossom & Shine


Tentang Penulis

A Mother of one who loves makeup and anything related with beauty <3
Oily Skin <3 Eyeshadow and Lipstick Junkie <3