How to Tell If Your Beauty Products Are Expired

While most organic beauty products have a clearly marked expiration date (as they don’t contain preservatives), the Times reports today that most standard cosmetics don’t, even though ingredients lose their effectiveness over time and containers become a petri dish for bacteria.

Right now, there are no set rules for how cosmetics should be labeled. And while many of our favorite lotions and potions have a “use-by” date, a standard for how companies arrive at that date does not exist. But until the industry comes together and figures this out, here’s a simple solution: Look for the little jar picture, which we’ve illustrated above and is usually found on the back of the outer packaging. The number, which seems like it might be a metric weight, is actually a suggested length of time the product should be kept in your makeup bag starting from the day you open it. Mind blown, or what?

How to Tell If Your Beauty Products Are Expired