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Burts Bees Four Lip BalmsDid you know that all those lotions, potions, and makeup you have actually expire and go bad?  Yes!  Makeup does expire.  Personal care products expire.  I can speak from personal experience when I say this.  We had a bottle of aloe that was unidentifiably old and I used it on a burn on my arm.  After I used it the burn got worse because the aloe had gone bad!  The aloe actually burned my arm further!  Expired healthcare products, makeup, and cleansers, etc., are dangerous.

What’s the expiration date of makeup and lotion, you ask?  It depends. There’s a basic list of expiration dates on the Today Show website.  On Burt’s Bees website, they say that their products last about a year after they have been opened.  It is important to note that these new, all-natural products like Burt’s Bees don’t have chemicals and preservatives therefore they will not last as long as the products full of chemicals.

My advice is as follows:

  • Buy small containers and only ones you will actually use.  If you’re not sure if you will like a new lotion, hair product or make-up item, then buy the trial size or the smallest size available.
  • If you decide you don’t like it, there’s no sense in hanging on to it, just in case.  You likely won’t change your mind and it’s not going to get any better sitting on your shelf.
  • Do yourself a favor and unload it as soon as you decide it’s not for you.  Since it is an open product, you cannot donate it but maybe someone else in your household would like to try it.  Otherwise, dump the product, assuming it is not medicine,  and recycle the package.  This will save you the hassle of a massive purge at a later date when your medicine cabinet explodes when you open it!
  • If you find yourself not knowing when you opened a product, especially those items that you only occasionally need, then put a small label on it that states the date you opened it.
  • Keep a copy of the expiration guidelines in the room where you apply these products so you can easily decide if it’s time for one of them to go.  Try taping it to the inside of the medicine cabinet.
  • Resist the urge to impulse buy these products.  It’ll save you space, money, disappointment, and the effort of clearing them out at a later date.  Believe me; I see tons of old lotions and potions at my clients’ houses.  It’s a waste of money!

What’s the oldest thing in your medicine cabinet?  Do you dare use it??