Did You Know Toiletries Have Expiration Dates?

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated March 24, 2015)

As just about anyone can attest, the bathroom is usually one of the most disorganized and clutter-stricken rooms in the home. Typically, the large amount of toiletry items stored within a person's bathroom causes this.

Before beginning the task of organizing your toiletries, it is probably helpful to know what is meant by the word "toiletry." The simplest definition of toiletry is anything used in the cleaning or grooming of oneself. Things like soap, deodorant, makeup, and shampoo are all examples of toiletries that can be found in anyone's bathroom.

One of the greatest ways that anyone can reduce the clutter, and therefore be able to organize their bathroom, is through the removal of any toiletry that has exceeded its expiration date. Each and every product in your bathroom has a shelf life. Here are some examples of what those are.

  • Makeup. Considering that there are literally a limitless number of different types of cosmetics out there, it should be no surprise that there is going to be a wide variety in the range of cosmetic shelf life. The average life span of cosmetic products ranges from as little as three months to as much as four years. If you find that your product does not have a date listed on the package, then there is a simple, fairly general rule to follow: If you notice any separation, discoloration, or unusual odor, then throw it out.
  • Shampoo/conditioner. Considering that there are now more "natural" products out there with lower amounts of preservatives than in the past, you are going to want to keep track of this shelf life. Unfortunately, these are some of the least consistent products for listing a "use by" date. That being said, what you are primarily going to want to keep an eye out for is separation of the product. If the product is beginning to separate, or is more discolored than previously, you should discard it.
  • Perfume/cologne. This is one area where you are truly going to get what you pay for. Typically, the more expensive perfumes and colognes tend to last longer. Some have been known to last for up to four years. To ensure a longer-lasting scent, keep your fragrances in a cool dry place, devoid of sunlight.
  • Deodorant. The maximum shelf life of this product can be measured in years. The active ingredients of the average deodorant are going to last up to three years. Keep in mind that once the product's ingredients go inert, then they are no longer going to work.

If you cannot find the expiration date on the package, then follow this simplest of rules: if you have had it longer than six months, throw it out.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

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