Skincare fans warned to check their cosmetics' expiry dates 'each month'

Woman using moisturiser
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Experts are warning beauty fans to check the expiry dates on their skincare products, after one woman's painful experience ended in a hospital trip.

A social media video that went viral this month shows the dangerous effects of using expired cosmetics and the potential damage it could inflict on your skin, Bristol Live reports.

TikTok user @beasteater gained a whopping 31.6 million views and 1.9 million likes on a video she posted, demonstrating the painful reaction she had on her face from using expired skincare products, coupled with incorrect aftercare.

It is understandable to think serums, moisturisers and toners can stay usable for a long time, but this isn't actually the case. As such, professionals from Tropic Skincare want people to know how identify if you have expired products and other factors to consider when using skincare.

Through the clip, the woman in question stated she used "expired acne/dark spot treatment", then later washed half of the product off as her face was "burning". After four days of trying to remedy the problem, which had now evolved to painful looking sores all over her face, she was left with no choice but to go to A&E.

One viewer commented under the post:"Any time you use a product past it's expire date. (there is an icon that tells # months from open) you risk the product separating, chemicals breaking down and bacteria growing."

Not only can gone-off products wreak havoc on skin, but they may also not work as well, making skin more vulnerable to negative impacts.

Susie Ma, CEO and founder of Tropic Skincare, stated: "The most obvious disadvantage of using expired skincare products is that they may not be as effective as fresh ones. So, if you're using an expired face cream, you might not be getting the same hydration or anti-ageing benefits as you would from a fresh one.

"In fact, expired face products can actually cause skin irritation, breakouts, and other problems like this TikTok user and using expired facial products results in a less effective routine that can further lead to long-term skin issues. It's worth doing a routine check each month of all your products to ensure they are all in-date."

She continued: "There are also certain rules to consider when using skincare products. This TikTok user says she used a steamer afterwards as she thought it would help, but this actually caused a bacterial infection. This will be because the steamer caused heating of the skin which can react with products and cause them to overstimulate, causing more of an irritation."

Additionally, Susie shared a few tips on how to discern if your skincare products have reached their expiry date:

Start by checking the expiration date

She advised: "First, check the packaging for a "period after opening" symbol, which looks like a jar with a number and an "M" inside. This symbol indicates how long the product is good for after it has been opened, typically ranging from six to 24 months. If the product doesn't have this symbol, you can try checking the ingredient list for a "use by" or "expiration" date."

Expressing understanding towards the confusion that may arise, Susie suggested keeping a record of when you start using a new skincare product, making sure to note down the month you first introduced it into your routine.

She stated: "However, at Tropic, we've decided to make things simpler for our customers by including a best before (BBE) date on all of our products instead, which clearly shows when to use the product until, in date form. Although it's not a legal requirement for beauty products, this date tells you when the formulation stops being it's most fresh and effective. It's completely safe to continue enjoying your Tropic products up until their expiration date."

Monitor changes in your skincare products

Susie then noted: "Another way to tell if your skincare is expired is to pay attention to its appearance and texture. Expired skincare products may have a strange odour, a change in colour or consistency, or a separation of ingredients. So keep an eye on your regular products, if you spot a change it may be time to buy a new one."

She further highlighted the influence of storage in relation to the performance of skincare stuff - they should be conserved in a chilly, dim space (such as your bathroom cabinet, not a shelf). This becomes particularly essential with products that contain vitamin C and other actives, which risk oxidising when they come in contact with sunlight.

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