Does Cleanser Go Bad? Here's What You Need To Know

If you're into keeping your skin in tip-top condition, you likely follow a skincare regime that involves some kind of cleanser. But, like other beauty products, you might be wondering, does cleanser go bad? Because using expired skincare products is likely super bad for your skin and counterintuitive to the outcome you're trying to achieve.

You've probably heard about the horrors of using out-of-date makeup products already. The Daily Mail discovered some laboratory tested out-of-date makeup included a strain of bacteria that could cause meningitis. The scariest part? A couple of these products were only four months out-of-date. I don't know about you, but I rarely keep an eye on the expiration dates of my makeup products, so I could be harboring some out-of-date items unknowingly in my own makeup bag. However, the news that some makeup products that were only a few months out-of-date contained meningitis causing bacteria, is enough to make me want to throw my entire makeup collection away and start over!

Nothing lasts forever in this life, so it makes sense that eventually all beauty products will expire. For instance, did you know that sunscreen lasts for three years? So what about cleanser, how long should we be applying cleanser to our faces once the container's seal has broken?

According to The Debrief, speaking with Dr. David E Bank, founder of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in New York, it's helpful to keep an eye on your beauty products' expiration dates, "Ever noticed that little symbol that looks like an open jar on your cosmetics? It features the letter M and a number (like 12M). That’s the expiration date. It tells you how many months you have to finish them all up. That’s if you remember when you first opened them." The Debrief informed readers, "Cleansers also keep for six months. That’s how long they’ll make our skin squeaky clean."

However, O, The Oprah Magazine reported, "Basically, dear reader, an OTC skincare product expires when you decide it does." According to O, The Oprah Magazine, speaking with cosmetic chemist Mort Westman, of Westman Associates in Illinois, "Though most are formulated to last about two years, there is no federal regulation or clear guideline establishing expiration dates," although there are telltale signs that a product has gone bad, so it's best to keep your eyes peeled. O, The Oprah Magazine suggested, "To maximize a product's life, try to keep your fingers out of it. There's less risk of bacterial contamination that way."

That being said, to be extra cautious, it's best to check out your favorite products' expiration dates. As previously mentioned, you can find the time (in months) that a product will last once it's opened, or you can check out certain brand's websites to discover how long the shelf life is for their unopened products. NIVEA informed their customers, "For all NIVEA products we guarantee an unopened shelf life of at least 30 months from the date of manufacture unless they carry a specific expiry or use by date. Although the products will not be harmful after this date of expiration, active ingredients may become less effective. For this reason, we advise you to replace any unused products after the expiration date or if the product does look or smell different than usual." 

When it comes to cleansers use the six month mark as a rule of thumb, but be aware of any changes to your cleanser (such as consistency or smell,) keep tabs on when you opened it, and remember when you purchased it. By doing these things, you should be able to avoid your cleanser going bad and be able to keep your skin so fresh and so clean, clean!

Images: Alexandru Zdrobău (2) /Unsplash; chezbeate (1), bottlein (1) /Pixabay

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