Is the Expiration Date on Your Skincare Products Important? Ask Dr. Thornfeldt, Creator of Epionce

Checking food expiration dates is a no-brainer for most of us because we care about what we are putting into our body and don’t want to get sick. BUT, do we think about checking the expiration dates on our skincare? “A healthy skin barrier is key to healthy skin, so using products at their peak performance will help skin thrive” says clinical dermatologist and founder of Epionce skincare, Dr. Thornfeldt.

Here is what the highly acclaimed medical doctor has to say about this important subject:

Non-prescription skincare is typically not like perishable food products that can have a narrow ‘expiration’ date window, where using the product after that date could lead to illness. At Epionce, we use the term “BBE,” which stands for “Best Before End.” This means that after the date listed on the package, the ingredients will start losing their efficacy over time, but it does NOT mean that the product is “expired” in the way people typically understand expiration.

If a product has been stored under ideal conditions (i.e. away from heat, excessive humidity, etc.) and has not been opened, it will still maintain a good degree of efficacy upon opening. Whether or not the package has been opened is very important to pay attention to. For example, in Europe you may see a “PAO” symbol which stands for ‘Period After Opening’ on cosmetic packaging. It is important to understand that once a product has been opened and is exposed to the environment around it, the clock starts ticking faster than with unopened products. If you have a product that has been open for longer than 6-12 months (depending on the activity of the product), toss it – even if the BBE (Best Before End) has not passed yet. Not all skincare products hit their BBE at the same rate as there are many variables to consider including the active ingredients, preservatives, and packaging. 

Additionally, how you have been storing the product (in the cupboard or your hot bathroom) will impact how long it can last and shorten its BBE. Always check the BBE date on the packaging to be certain. When in doubt, if the product changes consistency or color, toss.

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