What Does the Shelf Life of Skincare Products Really Mean

Have you ever bought a product before, and felt like it was going off?

Preservatives help to keep your products fresh; yet there is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of preservatives.

The reason they are included in your personal care products, is to extend the shelf life and keep them fresh and safe.

After all, do you really want to be applying cream on your skin that is full of microbes and fungi?

This is a subject discussed in greater detail, in the article what are parabens.

Shelf life of oils

Although oils don’t go off in the true sense of the word, they do have a tendency to go moldy and turn rancid over time.

You can always tell when oil has gone off just by the smell.

If you’ve bought a facial oil, especially one that contains Rose Hip Seed Oil which can go rancid easily, a tip to extend the shelf life, is to add  Vitamin E at about 1%.

If you can’t locate Vitamin E from a supplier, try using a Vitamin E capsule, which will work just as well.

Shelf life of butters

If you have purchased a body butter and it’s been sitting on your bathroom shelf for a while, you may be wondering if it’s still okay to use.

The good news is that butters, waxes and oils don’t contain water, so bacteria has nowhere to flourish.

Basically what this means, is that they don’t grow mold and bacteria like other products formulated with water, they may go rancid over a very long period of time.


The shelf life of a product, actually has a lot to do with the type of packaging the formula is sold in.

If the formula is in a bottle, this prevents re-contamination from fingers, and prevents air from being drawn back into the bottle, meaning it is far less likely to become contaminated.

Airless pumps are one of the best forms of packaging, where no or very little preservative is required.

On a final note, if you do notice that your product has started to change color, or if it begins to separate, or mold appears then it is going off.



2 thoughts on “What Does the Shelf Life of Skincare Products Really Mean

  1. Cindy says:

    Thank you for taking the time it must have taken you to put this site together for everyone. The knowledge you have been willing to share is invaluable information and it just goes to show, you’re never too old to learn something amazing!! (my son is 24, micro-biologist and single – e-mail me if you want his #) tee hee

    Anyway, bless you, young one for sharing!

    Warm Regards,

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