Should I throw away my skin care products?

According to Chapas, the only way to truly know if an old skin-care product is safe to use is to have it tested for lab bacteria, but considering most of us don’t have science labs in our bathrooms, there are some clues that point to possible degradation. .

One clue, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is whether the emulsion or mixture of oil and water separates. The product may also experience discoloration or changes in texture, such as dryness or tackiness. Anderson advises that if something doesn’t look right, don’t use it.

Broder adds that another sign of bacteria or other organisms multiplying is if the product smells bad or different than it should. “This is a red flag that the product is unsafe,” he said.

Anderson recommends writing the date with a marker or tape after opening a new serum or moisturizer. Also look for an expiration date or PAO symbol on the packaging. As a result, “you’ll have a good estimate of how long the product will stay in optimal condition,” he says.

Generally speaking, most skin care products will last six months to a year, but eye products may last a little less, Chapas explained.

If you’re in doubt, it’s better to throw it in the trash. Chapas added that it can be a tough decision, especially if the product is expensive, but “it’s not worth getting an eye infection” just to not throw it away.

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