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Well yes, even cosmetic products expire–perhaps it’s time to look a little suspiciously at your face cream that you’ve had on your bathroom shelf since time immemorial.
Have you ever noticed that symbol on each package, with a jar with the cap open and a number written inside? No? Here, it is officially time to do it!
That is the PAO, literally Period After Opening, which indicates how long a product is usable, safely, after opening it. The number given refers to the months in which your cosmetic will be safe, will store properly, and the actives within it will be truly effective.
What might happen if you used that product beyond the reported months? It may simply happen that the ingredients lose their effectiveness. So you might think you are applying an active, which in reality may no longer give you any benefit to your skin. But, beyond the specified months, the preservative placed in the products may no longer perform its function, leaving bacteria inside the cosmetic to proliferate. So applying that product could be dangerous in terms of irritation, rash, etc.
A good beauty tip is to write on each package the date you open that product, so you have it under control.
Another tip, when you buy a product, check the PAO to see if you think you can finish it in time. There are products on the market with a very short PAO compared to the use of that individual cosmetic.
For example, you will hardly be able to finish within the given months a 150ml face mask, which has a PAO of 3 months, if it is to be applied only a couple of times a week.
However, the actual expiration of the product is different. The expiration date, usually listed next to the production lot number, refers to the product still sealed (somewhat like what happens with the expiration date listed for food, for example)
So what are you waiting for? go check out all your skincare products now! Decluttering can help you both to check the safety of your products, but also to figure out what you may really need for your beauty routine and limit unnecessary purchases and thus waste.

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