Use It Up

I am often asked about the shelf-life of skin care products.  There are two answers to this question.  In the case of products with “reactive” ingredients such as retinols, ascorbic acid, alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, product is old if it has been manufactured more than 8 to 12 months before being used by the client.  This problem occurs because active ingredients undergo auto0oxidation to varying degrees in any formulation.  Stability is defined as maintaining 50% of biologic activity.

The second case involves products with non-reactive ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, minerals and many essential oils.  The general rule of thumb is that unopened containers have a shelf-life of two years while opened product should be discarded after two years.  If in doubt, toss.

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