Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Skincare Tips from Renée Rouleau:  Do skincare products expire?

Savvy, smart, and always knowledgeable, Renée Rouleau is my go-to for all that is skincare. She’s a celebrity esthetician with her own line (I love her AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel!), and she also regularly updates her blog with skin care tips and tricks.

It’s so important to be aware that skin care products don’t last forever. We buy products and don’t end up using some of them as often as we had intended, and they end up collecting dust.  But are they still safe to use?  Dallas-based celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau has answers!

Generally, most skin care products guarantee safety and freshness for one year. Some will last up to two years and some will last less. Products that are sold both in Europe and in the United States will have a symbol of an open jar with a number followed by the letter “M” to indicate how many months the products will last after it’s been opened, but this is not required if the product is only sold in the United States or Canada.

Tips to getting the longest life out of your skin care products:

  • Write the purchase date with a marker on the bottom of the jar or bottle. Whether the product has the month symbol on it or not, the difficulty will always be that you won’t recall when you purchased the product so writing it on the jar is a fool-proof way to remember.
  • Keep your products away from light and heat. This definitely helps to preserve the product for longer since active ingredients can be compromised when exposed to heat and light. Store them in a drawer or cabinet.
  • Have clean hands before dipping your fingers into a jar. Most skin care products should be formulated with a strong preservative system so there shouldn’t any worries about using your fingers to get a cream or mask out of a jar. But it’s still good to make sure you hands are clean. Usually when a cream or mask is applied, it’s after cleansing your face so generally your hands are clean anyway.
  • Optional: Refrigerate your skin care products. If you aren’t using a product on a regular basis and want it to last, you can always store it in the refrigerator. This generally will help to maintain its freshness for longer.
  • Keep the caps closed tight. It’s a fact that air will break down active ingredients more rapidly, so make sure the caps are closed tightly.

Tips for when to toss:

  • If your product changes consistency, color or scent, it’s time to toss. First, check for expiration dates. If that isn’t obvious, there are a few things to look for: Is the product thinner? Are the ingredients separating? Does it smell different than when you purchased it? Has the color changed from white to yellow or light brown? These are signs that the product is changing and should be tossed.

Help those in need:

  • Clean out and donate (only fresh products.) Many domestic violence shelters gladly accept unused/gently used beauty products for their women who are in need. If you’ve recently purchased a skin care product that isn’t a good fit for your skin or have a product that you’re just not going to ever use, donate it. The Renée Rouleau Cosmetic Donation Program donates to The Family Place in Dallas.

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7 thoughts on “Skincare Tips from Renée Rouleau: Do skincare products expire?

  1. shannon

    I wonder do these rules apply to unopened skincare samples? I have a ton of samples from Sephora orders… I would hate to have the expire within a year…

  2. Mariya

    Thank you for posting this thread. I’ve been always intrested how long could I keep my beauty items.

  3. One of the things that I never thought about, until my wife came along, was that most people keep skin care products on their shelves way too long. This can result in breakouts, rashes and other unwanted skin conditions. The best thing to do is of course used them everyday if recommended or as often as possible. This will eliminate the problem of having them too long.