Skincare warning after TikTok user's painful burns prompt beauty fans to check labels

Black woman putting on face lotion
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

A beauty expert is urging skincare enthusiasts to check their favourite products after a viral TikTok video exposed the severe consequences of using out-of-date products.

BeastEaster (@beasteaster), who amassed 1.9 million likes on a recent video, unfortunately experienced first-hand the effects of using expired acne cream.

She applied it all over her face, despite knowing it had expired, and quickly washed it off when her skin started to burn. Sadly, it was too late to prevent damage, as her cheeks soon erupted in bright red blisters.

"I am in so much pain and physically can't even look at myself, I felt very defeated," she told her 20.3 million followers. "...After being in so much pain I finally agreed to go to the hospital four days after. I won't bring any attention to the brand because this was 1000% my fault and I still absolutely adore the brand."

"I just want to be a voice and let everyone know to routinely check all makeup and skincare product expiration dates."

According to Susie Ma, CEO and founder of Tropic Skincare, the TikToker's fate is likely an impact of harsh, gone-off chemicals.

"The most obvious disadvantage of using expired skincare products is that they may not be as effective as fresh ones," she explained. "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."

"[But], 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."

Susie recommends doing a routine product check every month to avoid getting into a similarly painful situation. While package expiry dates aren't always obvious, there should be a 'period after opening' symbol somewhere on the label.

This looks like a jar with a number and an 'M' inside, with the symbol indicating just how long a product can be used for after it's been opened. Usually, this ranges between six and 24 months.

If the product doesn't appear to have this, check the ingredient list for a 'use by' or 'expiration date'. Susie continued: "This can be confusing, as you may not know when you originally opened the product, so when you introduce something new to your skincare regime you should make a note of the month you started using the product."

Paying attention to the smell, texture and overall appearance of a product can also help you steer clear of a skincare disaster. Any changes could indicate that ingredients are separating or going off, so it may be time to buy a new bottle.

Susie also added: "The storage of skincare products can also impact the quality of them. They should be stored in a cool, dark space (like a bathroom cabinet, not a shelf), especially actives like vitamin C, which are at risk of oxidation when exposed to sunlight."

"This is also why actives like vitamin C should be housed in dark glass bottles, which is what we've done with our Tropic Skincare products."