When we head to the grocery store we generally check a best before date on everything we buy. It makes sense for what you eat but it also makes sense for what you put on your skin and your face.

The reality is that all cosmetics have a best before date even if it’s not plastered along the side of the bottle like you’d expect. That’s why we did the research for you to help make sure you know exactly how long your products can last you and maybe even help clean off some space in your bathroom vanity.

Moisturizers and Creams: six months to one year

Most moisturizers can be used for six months to one year after opening. Anything that comes in a jar will have a shorter shelf life because you’re putting your fingers in it and exposing it to bacteria. Products with a pump will last a bit longer since they are more protected.

In general, though, it is always important to look for changes in the smell, texture, or color of your product, which can all be signs that a product has become old and unusable and should be thrown away.

Face Cleanser: six months to one year

The kind of cleanser you use will better determine its lifespan. Oil-based cleansers can last for a year if kept in a cool dark place, while water-based foaming cleansers should generally be used up closer to six months, particularly if they include BHA, AHA, or enzymes that can degrade or oxidize quickly.

Body lotion: one to two years

Body lotion is similar to moisturizer but because it’s usually distributed by a pump and rarely exposed to air, it can sometimes last you up to two years. Again it’s important to look for changes in the product from when it was first opened like texture and smell to determine if it’s gone bad.

Depending on ingredients, some specialty body lotions can go bad much quicker so always consult the bottle first for any special exceptions.

SPF: check the expiration date

SPF is very strictly regulated by the FDA so you can usually find a big, bold expiration date right on the side of the bottle. But despite the expiration date, it can go bad early if not handled properly or stored in the proper place.

If it’s been left out in the sun or in a hot car you may want to consider replacing it sooner than the expiry date!

Foundation: six months to one year

It’s best to replace foundations and other non-powder face makeup after six months-a year. It’s important to monitor these products for any changes and to be really mindful of how you’re caring for tools like brushes and sponges that you use to apply them.

If not cleaned properly, these tools can attract a lot of bacteria that you’re then spreading into your product and onto your skin.

Mascara: three to six months

Replacing your mascara is a beauty must! We won’t go into the gritty details about the infections and bacteria that can be the result of using old mascara, we will just hope you take our word for it.

Replacing your mascara every three to six months might be even cheaper than you think! Instead of buying large mascara bottles you’ll likely never finish in that short a time or forget how long ago you bought it, opt for purchasing the travel sizes. You’ll find they last only a few months so you never have to guess how long you’ve had it for and gives you the perfect opportunity to replace your mascara often!

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