When we all buy our skincare products, we are so excited to go home and open them up and start experiencing them. Then, as time goes on, we might find another, lets say, cleanser that piques our interest. Or our skin type or condition has changed over the course of the last 6-12 months, and we need something new.
The good thing about a lot of skincare is that it is designed to last for a good few months. Take this photo for example. You can see the little pot symbol in the bottom left-hand corner, with the 9M in it. It is called the “Period After Opening Symbol” of PAO for short. This means, that once the product is opened, you have 9 months to use it before it should be discarded, if you have any left. If you’re using the amount of product as recommended, then you should use it all up by that point in time anyway. However, as I said in the previous paragraph, most open often flit onto another product because their needs change, or they just want to try something new. This can mean that their old products are just sitting at the back of shelves, or in your bottom draw for months, and even years, on end.
As soon as a product is opened up, and it mixes with the oxygen in the air, it becomes oxidized. If you have to put your fingers in, say an eye cream pot, you can be putting in bacteria every time you use the product (I always suggest using something sanitary to dispense it into your hand in this case, for example, a reusable plastic spatula that you can clean, and thoroughly wash your hands). Also, some products, for example, contain active ingredients (especially products designed for brightening), but they die off after a set amount of time, so the product is of no use after that. Your Therapist will always advise on this, and if brought online, then it should always say somewhere about this in the description.
Take for example, MediK8’s Pure C-15. This is a pure Vitamin C serum that aims to visibly brighten the skin and smooth fine lines. Because this is so potent, it comes in two 15ml bottles, so 30ml all together. I think this is so great, as you essentially are only opening half the product at a time. So whilst you use up one 15ml bottle over the suggested 2 months, the other stays air-tight until you are ready to go onto it.
If you use a product that is past its recommended use-by date, it can harm the skin, as it could contain nasty bacteria, or essentially, be ineffective. Especially when it comes to the more potent products that contain acids and such, it is best to always stick to the suggested guidelines of usage amounts, and date suggestions.
This is not just for skincare, but for make-up also. I know I am guilty of having had a few out of date eyeshadow pallets in my time, that I just do not want to part with. But there comes a point where we do need to say goodbye to our old and nearly used-up products, and move onto the next amazing thing in your skincare routine.