From time to time, a small sorting of your vanity case is imperative. It’s necessary to avoid using out of date cosmetics. How long to keep these products? How to keep them longer? Avril answers your questions.
There are 2 possible mentions on the packagings of cosmetics giving you indications onto the life time of the product you bought: the BBD and the PAO.
♦ The BBD (Best Before Date)
If the product has a limit duration of use of less than 30 months, the manufacturer has to display the BBD, the Best Before Date. You will see the mention "best used before" followed by date. When the date indicated on the packaging is passed, the product will be out-of-date even if you did not open it.
Do not hesitate to read well the labels before buying. If the product is out of date, it does not necessarily mean that the product will be dangerous for health, but the result and the pleasure of use will not be the same (different perfume or texture, less efficiency…)
♦ The PAO (Period After Opening)
If your product has a duration of use of 30-month-old and more, the manufacturer doesn’t need to indicate a best before date. However, he has to indicate the PAO: the Period After Opening. It’s a compulsory mention concerning the lifetime after opening cosmetics.
To know the PAO, look for the small logo of a jar of cream printed on the packaging. You will notice a figure and the "M" letter. It indicates the number of month after opening you can use this product.
Thus, write on your product the date when you start to use it (and not the purchase date of the product) otherwise this mention will not be useful for you!
The lifetime of use is calculated with the aim of guaranteeing to the consumer a maximal safety concerning the risks of microbiological contamination. It’s determined according to several criteria:
♦ The resistance of the formula to a bacterial contamination : it’s different according to the efficiency of the conservatives and their nature, chemical or natural. But it depends also on the formula: the lifetime is shorten if it contains some water.
♦ The type of packaging : jar, tube, flask pumps…
♦ The predictable operating life : daily, weekly use
♦ The zone of application : mucous membranes, skin, scalp
♦ The population targets : babies, adults
Always refer to the packaging but globally durations of maximum use of conventional cosmetics are these following ones:
♦ Mascara and eyeliner: 3 to 6 months. Water + sensitive zone: the PAO is very short.
♦ Lipstick: approximately 15 months. If the formula does not contain water, the risk of germ contamination is almost worthless. However, in the course of months, the formula can evolve, according to the changes in temperature. As a result, the texture, the perfume or the colour can change and it's better to throw away your lipstick in this case because the result will not be there.
♦ Blushes, eye shadows, powders: 12 to 18 months. The risk is also worthless because they don’t contain water. There are few risks if you use it beyond the maximal date of use.
♦ Cleansing milk, body milk, water micellaire: 12 months.
♦ Face cream: flask pumps: 12 months; jar: 9 months.
♦ Body oil: 18 months. Less risk with oils where bacteria don’t proliferate.
♦ Sunscreen: throw it away on the return to the holidays because the solar filters can’t be preserved. The temperature variations undergone by the product (in the heat of your beach bag) can modify the texture or the smell of the formula.
Here are some simple rules to extend the lifetime of your cosmetics:
♦ Keep your products in a cool and dry place, protected from light. In fact, the bathroom is not the ideal place to keep your cosmetics but it’s difficult to imagine to store them somewhere else…
♦ Wash your hands before using your cosmetics.
♦ Close carefully the product after use to limit the contact with air which can alter its properties
♦ Do not lend your lipstick or your eye pencil to yours friends.
♦ Wash regularly your accessories: make-up brushes…
It’s simple! Throw away your product if you see a change of:
♦ Texture (phase shift)
If you have any doubt, it’s better to lose some euros than to risk an infection!
The conservatives contained in organic cosmetics are natural, their efficiency against germs is not also strong as the chemical conservatives. It’s moreover for that reason that chemical conservatives were introduced into the formulae of cosmetics: to increase their lifetime. But they are sometimes harmful for health as paraben for example.
The PAO is thus often shorter than conventional cosmetics but the conservatives which are contained are less harmful for the skin and the health of the consumer.