Hair product expiration | Seduce


Whether it’s a gallon of milk or our favorite eau de parfum, we take expiration dates seriously. After all, just as stale food can make you sick, stale beauty products can be ineffective at best and moldy, irritating at worst, and full of enough bacteria to give even the bravest of us the heebie-jeebies. What you may not realize, however, is that there is a whole other segment of your beauty routine that you may have left out to mess up your hair products.

Unlike foods, the FDA does not require an expiration date on makeup, skin, or hair products. That doesn’t mean you’re on your own when it comes to determining if your foam is past its peak. Many skin care and makeup brands choose to include an After Opening Period (PAO) mark on their packaging to indicate how long the product will stay fresh after first use, and many hair care brands have followed suit. not. To find the PAO brand, look on your product label for a small drawing of a container marked with a number and the letter M, usually on the back in the lower right corner. The count is an estimate of the number of months the product will retain its quality after first opening.

No PAO mark on your favorite shine serum? No problem. Many of the same guidelines for determining the freshness of your makeup and skin care products carry over to their hair-loving counterparts. Texturizing spray caught on a funky scent? Throw it away. Does that dollop of conditioner seem separate or curdled? In the garbage ! And anything you’ve been clinging to for over three years (like that shampoo lying around in your old bathroom at your parents’ house since high school) is better off heading to the eternal medicine cabinet in the sky. (If you really liked it that much, you would have used it already.)

Of course, some products are more resistant than others. Anything that comes in an aerosol can, especially if it contains alcohol (think hairspray, dry shampoo, mousse) has a pretty long shelf life due to its limited exposure to the air. During this time, products that regularly emerge (or contact with human fingers carrying bacteria), that is, anything in a jar, such as pomades, gels and styling creams, will spoil faster. The ingredients and texture also make a difference: Oils naturally turn rancid within two to three years, and products with a high water content are good breeding grounds for mold and fungi causing rashes and irritation (ick! ).

More importantly, the environment in which your products are kept can have a big impact on their endurance. Hot, humid places (like, say, your bathroom) encourage spoilage, as happens anywhere with a lot of light exposure. That doesn’t mean you should ban your air conditioner in the hallway closet between showers; just resist the urge to ration that crazy shampoo until the next presidential election. For everything that lives in your shower’s built-in sauna is use it or lose it.

After all that, if you’re still not sure if your hair products went the way of last month’s lunch meat, apps like Beauty Keeper can help you look up your product’s batch number to find out when it’s been. made and keep track of when things are set to expire. And if all else fails: if in doubt, throw it out!

Need to replace those expired hair products? Check it out!