Warning to check expiry dates on skincare products immediately

Experts are urging people to check expiry dates on their skincare products
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Health experts are warning people to check the expiry dates on their skincare products following a viral TikTok video that highlighted the potential dangers of using expired items.

The video, posted by TikTok user @beasteater, amassed 31.6 million views and 1.9 million likes.

The video showed the painful reaction she experienced after using out-of-date skincare products and not following the correct aftercare. One comment under the post read: "Any time you use a product past its expire date...you risk the product separating, chemicals breaking down and bacteria growing."

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Tropic Skincare's experts offered advice on how to identify expired products and what to consider when using skincare, reports Wales Online. CEO and founder of Tropic Skincare Susie Ma said: "The most obvious disadvantage of using expired skincare products is that they may not be as effective as fresh ones."

She added: "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 further explained: "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."

Susie has offered her top advice on how to determine if your skincare products have expired:

Look for 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."

Susie acknowledged that this can be confusing, as you may not remember when you originally opened the product, so she suggests making a note of the month you starting using the product when you introduce something new to your skincare regime.

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."

Keep an eye out for changes in your products.

Susie also said: "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 also pointed out the effect of proper storage on skincare items - they should be stashed in a cool, dark space (like in a bathroom cabinet, not a shelf). This is particularly true for products with active ingredients like vitamin C that are prone to oxidise when exposed to sunlight.

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