What Every Beauty Product User Must Know Now - Product Expiration

What every beauty product user must know now.

Today I want to share a shameful but amusing personal story. One that still has me hanging my head in shame.

It’s the tale of a Silly Sausage Bride-to-Be and her Beauty Goo Boo-Boo

It was the evening of Sunday, September 22, 2013, exactly two weeks before my wedding day and three weeks from my big move from Australia to the United States. (I know – a wedding and a move?! Crazypants).

Anyway, I finished my last day at my corporate job and was 100% focused on wedding and moving preparations. I was totally in my element! Or, so I thought.

That evening, I decided to give myself a facial.

I carefully cleansed my skin. Pat it dry. Then reached for my go-to chemical peel mask. When I squeezed the product into my hand, I noticed something didn’t look quite right. What was normally smooth and creamy came out hard and lumpy. Eeek.

My inner beauty critic was shouting: “You know the rule, Shelley. If it doesn’t look, smell or feel right, throw it away!”

But my inner bridal critic was battling back: “Never break the cardinal rule of Bridal Beauty! You can’t switch to a new product now!!”

My inner bridal critic won. I slapped the mask on my face, grabbed a magazine and some lemon-infused water, and plopped down on the couch.  

Within a minute, my face began to tingle. Yep, totally normal for this mask.

So, I got swept away into an article about bridal headpieces.

Two minutes later, the tingle turned into a slight burning sensation.

I recalled a professional chemical peel I had year earlier. Sure, it was a little uncomfortable, but the beautician fanned my face to help cool the burning sensation.

So, I checked my face in the mirror. Everything seemed ok. I turned my magazine into a fan.

Within 5 minutes, my face was on five-alarm fire and all I could think was: “oh H-2-THE-NO” – what have you done Shelley??!!”

I knew I’d made a MASSIVE rookie mistake, and the outcome was not good.

The skin on my cheeks was raised, blotchy and almost blistering – at this point, it felt worse than it looked.

Quickly I decided that I need to put on a calming and soothing mask and prayed that my face would look better once I took it off.

But, there was still no change. In major freakout mode, I iced my face with a bag of frozen peas for 30 minutes before reaching for something ultra moisturizing and hydrating – my pawpaw ointment.

I slathered the ointment all over my face, downed three massive glasses of water and went to bed.

And the worst part? I had a scheduled photo shoot for my blog – the VERY NEXT DAY.

In panic mode, I began having flashbacks of my teenage years, when the friend of a boy I was dating, ripped-up my Dad’s luscious, green lawn up with his car – an old fashion lawny! I stood there with my best friend, Lauren and hosed that rubber-burnt, dead grass, praying that it would grow back by the time my Dad got home from work in a few hours! Of course… it didn’t. And yep… I was also in BIG trouble!

On the morning of my photo shoot I woke up, hopping that the debacle from the night before was just a dream.

Immediately I realized it wasn’t. My cheeks were throbbing with pain.

Quickly, I inspected the damage. It was bad, really bad. I had gag worthy red and brown blisters and burnt skin on my cheeks. There was no amount of makeup that was going to cover this boo-boo.

Chemical burn from a beauty product that had gone bad.

First, I called the photoshoot director to explain my moment of insanity – it was too late to reschedule, so I prayed that photoshop would be kind to me. Then I called nearly every dermatologist in Brisbane – the standard appointment wait time was eight weeks… EIGHT WEEKS! I begged and pleaded with each receptionist until one of them graciously freed up an emergency appointment for me, in three days time.

By the time I saw the doctor, my wedding was just a week away. I finished explaining what I had done to myself (feeling like a complete idiot) and he started laughing. “Hahahahah. Do you realize that you have superficially burnt your own face? So basically you’re asking me to perform a miracle? ” I replied with the sweetest smile I could put on and said, “Yes. Yes I am!”

Two minutes, three prescriptions, a Vitamin B supplement, and an embarrassed + bruised ego later, I was on my way.

Luckily for me, my skin bounced back nicely. Just a few days before my wedding, I had no raised areas on my face and most of the burns had peeled away without a trace – thanks to the miracle doctor and his magic potions.

The moral of the story is:

Beauty products are like food. They all have an expiration.

Look for the little jar symbol with a number inside, on the back of all your products. This number denotes the number of months you have from the time of opening your product to the point of expiration.

Beauty Product Expiration Indicator

Here are the expiration numbers for some popular beauty goo:

Mascara + Liquid Liner : 3 months | Eye Cream : 6 months | Face Masks : 9 months | Cream Products (foundation, moisturizer, cleanser, concealer, lipgloss, shampoo) : 12 months | Powder Products (eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, powder) : 36 months.

In most cases, exceeding the expiration period of your beauty products won’t harm you. However, products with active skincare ingredients that can be found in face masks and anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, anti-everything lotions and potion, should be thrown away at the point of expiration.


Most important of all…

If your product doesn’t look, smell or feel right, even if you’re within the expiration period – THROW AWAY THAT PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY.  It’s just not worth the risk.

.And that is my silly sausage, bride-to-be beauty goo hoarding story.

Over to you!

Throw on your favorite tunes, grab a green smoothie and take a peek in your bathroom cabinets. Have some fun sorting through your beauty goo collection and leave a comment below with:

How old is the oldest product you found in your goo-stash?

beauty goo

Need help breaking your beauty goo hoarding habits?

Come on over and check out Ravish!™It’s like biting into a really delicious cupcake with the good kind of frosting.

With love and gratitude,

Shelley Cohen