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Expert issues warning over expired beauty products

Expert issues warning over expired beauty products

There are some hidden health dangers attached to using products past their shelf life...

I'm sure we've all been guilty at one point or another from keeping some very old products in our beauty cabinets.

From some dodgy tubes of mascara that's been in our make-up kits since before COVID to bottles of moisturiser we can't even remember when we bought - it's fair to say most of us will probably have a collection of expired products in our collections.

However, this bad habit we seemed to have picked up over the years is no laughing matter as one beauty expert has since come forward to issue a warning over using expired beauty products.

One beauty expert has issued a health warning against using expired products.
aire images / Getty Images

Justmylook’s beauty expert, Hayley Walker, has opened up about the risks of using such products that have gone way past their shelf life.

She also shared the five items she would never use past their expiry date due to potential dangers attached.

"Using products beyond their recommended expiry dates comes with many risks, which vary for different products and their uses on the body," she explained.

Hayley added: "As beauty products age, they also become more prone to bacterial contamination, risking potential skin irritations and infections, jeopardising overall skin health.

"For those with existing skin conditions like acne, eczema, or rosacea, the use of expired products can cause flare-ups or make these issues worse due to the irritation."

So, without further ado, let's get into the five biggest no-no's when it comes to beauty products that are past their peak.

Expired SPF is less effective in protecting your skin.
Mariya Borisova / Getty Images


Up first is SPF which Hayley says 'pretty much speaks for itself in terms of the damage and risks that come with this'.

She says: "The active ingredients in sunscreen, such as chemical UV filters or physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, can lose their effectiveness over time which reduces the sunscreen's ability to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, making it less effective in preventing sunburn and long-term skin damage.

"This puts you at a higher risk of sunburn, premature ageing, and an increased chance of developing skin cancers."

Expired mascara can cause conjunctivitis.
Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images


‌Next up on the rundown is a make-up kit staple, mascara.

Hayley explains that mascara is a makeup product that comes into contact with 'one of the most sensitive areas of the body' and has a 'limited shelf life' due to its liquid formulation which can apparently encourage bacterial growth.

"Using expired mascara increases the risk of introducing bacteria to the eyes, leading to infections such as conjunctivitis or styes," the expert warns.

So, if you're using contaminated mascara on your lashes, the wand can transfer these nasty pathogens to your eyes, potentially causing infections that may result in redness, itching, swelling, and discharge.

She adds: "Also, over time, the ingredients in mascara can break down, affecting the product's texture and performance. Expired mascara can become clumpy, making it difficult to apply evenly.

"Clumps can also flake off, potentially getting into the eyes and causing irritation.”

Using expired treatments may not provide the intended benefits.
Mariia Siurtukova / Getty Images

Skincare serums and treatments

Third on the list are serums and treatments which have active ingredients.

Now, Hayley says that active ingredients in skin serums and treatments 'lose effectiveness over time' which can result in the product being less capable of addressing specific skincare concerns for which it was originally formulated.

She continues: "Over time, expired ingredients may undergo changes, leading to skin irritation or allergic reactions.

"If you are using skincare products to manage specific skin conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, or fine lines, using expired products may not provide the intended benefits.

"In some cases, it might even worsen the condition due to the decreased effectiveness of the active ingredients."

Expired liquid foundation can increase the risk of breakouts.
Emilija Manevska / Getty Images

‌Liquid foundation

Fourth on the rundown is liquid foundation as Hayley warns that, over time, the ingredients in the liquid foundation can break down, causing changes in texture and consistency.

And that's not all.

The expert highlights: "The pigments and other active ingredients will degrade, leading to a less effective product that fails to conceal imperfections or even our skin tone as intended.

"The expired foundation may harbour bacteria, increasing the risk of breakouts and acne when applied to the face."

Using expired liquid eyeliner can lead to eye infections.
Tatiana Lavrova / Getty Images

‌Liquid eyeliner

And last but by no means least is liquid eyeliner.

Similar to mascara, liquid eyeliners have a liquid consistency that can be a 'breeding ground for bacteria' that can lead to eye infections, irritation, or conjunctivitis, Hayley warns.

She notes: "Liquid eyeliners are made up of a blend of ingredients designed to uphold their texture and application characteristics.

"As the product expires, these components can deteriorate, causing changes in formula, consistency, or colour.

"Using an altered formula may lead to an uneven application or unforeseen reactions on the sensitive skin around the eyes."


The beauty expert concludes: "If any of your products are showing signs of being out of date, such as an unusual smell, colour change, or altered texture, it’s advisable not to use them as this could be costly in the long run trying to reverse the damage."

Guess you really do learn something new everyday.

Featured Image Credit: Kinga Krzeminska/Songsak rohprasit/Getty Images

Topics: Beauty, Skincare, Hair, Life, Health, Make-Up