Features Editor /
We’re all guilty of owning more products than we actually use, but that often means that we end up with a collection which has been sat around a lot longer than it should be. Of course, they’re okay for a little while, but when should you throw out your products? Each product usually has a small symbol with a tub and a number which indicates how many months it’s okay for. The only problem is, it all depends on how you store them, use them and more. To help you figure out when you should bin your products, read our guide below.
The general rule for any creams and potted products is 12 months after opening, but it all depends on how you use it. If you tend to just scoop out product with your hands, bacteria will thrive in the moist environment, making it last a lot shorter time. As its fully exposed once open, the air gets to the product easily which causes it to become less effective.
Most bath and shower products come in a bottle and are protected from the air. These usually last for around 18 months after opening, as long as they aren’t made with natural products. They tend to have a shorter life. Avoid leaving them open for long periods of time to extend their product life.
Products which contain active ingredients such a salicylic acid will not necessarily ‘go off’, but after 6 months they will stop working. Every bit of exposure to oxygen, sunlight or heat will reduce the effectiveness, as these ingredients are highly volatile. Luckily, there are ways to protect all of these products for longer.
When exposed to light, heat and water, your products are likely to not last the length of time they should. To keep them from going off, store them in a cool, dark and dry place. This will prevent external factors from affecting the ingredients as quickly.
As mentioned earlier, an open tub is a prime breeding spot for germs and bacteria. If you can, choose your products in pumps or sprays as you can limit the exposure to air and not need to put your hands into the product. It should then remain clean and bacteria-free.
If you do need to use a tub, ensure that you wash your hands before you scoop out what you need. This will limit the amount of bacteria going into it so it will remain hygienic for longer. You could also find a small scoop and use that instead for extra protection against germs.
No matter how careful you are with your products, if you leave the lid off them, they’re going to go bad very quickly. Putting the lid on straight after you’ve used it will help keep it fresher for longer. Also remember that if it smells bad or looks strange, it’s time to throw out your products.
Do you throw out your products? Let us know on Twitter.
Throughout my life I've been passionate about film, music and culture from around the globe. I’m here to bring you the latest lifestyle features, from film releases and music, to cocktails and recipe inspiration, keeping you in the loop of all the latest trends worth talking about.
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