Thursday, August 23, 2012

Should I use expired lotion?


We've all been there.

There are that huge Bath and Body Works sale that you got crazy at at one point. You purchased way too much lotion-- I'm talking like the buy 6, get 6 free deals.

You are super excited about getting home and starting to use the one or two scents that you loved the most while shopping. But what happens to the rest?

Nothing. You rationalized buying them all thinking you could give them away as gifts but whether you forgot to or couldn't will yourself to, they are there in your bathroom closet stowed away... doing nothing.

So I don't know if anyone can relate to the story above (tweak it to fit you) but it happens to me!

Even though I have stopped purchasing lotions in hopes of finishing the many that I already have, I wonder... when does lotion expire?

Often, people think Well it's packaged an sealed off. It's not food... it doesn't smell bad... yet... so let's use it anyway.

And part of that rationale is fine... old lotion won't kill you. If you have fairly sensitive skin, it may cause some sort of irritation though. As for me, it looks like my sensitive skin will need to revise it's lotion using standards.

So... it looks like body lotions expire in 2-3 years depending on the make. Many people report having allergic reactions from using old products since the oils breakdown in the lotion.

Obviously, homemade body products have a shorter shelf life than drugstore products. Most people agree that if it's over 2 years old, it's gotta go. Other people say if the fluidity and scent is off, that's when you know it needs to go. Something that definitely expires would be sunblock and sun tanning lotion. You can tell when you squeeze it out of the tube. It's oily, breaking down, and not fluid at all.

But as much as I have read around, it sounds like everyone follows their own set of guidelines on when to toss things.

Spfs and moisturizers should last up to 2 years but how about products from the pharmacy? I have a tube of hydrocortisone here for my itchy hives that's much older than 2 years. Does it look funny? Not really? Does it smell the same? Yeah basically.

Well guess what? I'm tossing it. And you know what? You should too.

At this point, I'm thinking I need to go with that gut feeling of Oh wow it's pretty old rather than the frugal side of me saying you're almost done with it, just use it all. I would toss it out after 1-2 years. I am sure the chemical makeup of it alters after a while. And if you don't want to risk an allergic reaction or more trouble for your skin, just don't use it.If you haven't used it already, you won't use it later!


But I'm certain lotions on sale are already a bit dated and no one is going to buy lotion with expiration dates telling them it was way past rancid.

This is the most common answer I have found online:
I think that it if smells good and the consistency is still the same, then I would think that it is ok.

But in parallel to this answer:
I would toss it out after 1-2 years. I am sure the chemical makeup of it alters after a while.

So where does that leave you? Has this post made you change your mind? Do you have a better method to share? Either way, make sure you go through your products and think about what's been there forever and not being used. And don't go all out on skin/body supplies if you know you won't use it all. It's not a good deal if they all rot!

Please do share your opinions.

P.S. Perfume holds it's consistency for 5-10 years. :)


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