You may be familiar with the idea of some of your favourite beauty products expiring eventually, but what about your lip balms. If you’re wondering whether your go-to lip balms expire too, it’s time to find out, and discover more about this.
Does lip balm expire?
That moment you look in your fridge and grab out the dessert you’ve been excited to eat, only to be disappointed by the best before label, telling you it expired a week ago, is one of the most annoying and frustrating feelings. Unfortunately, expiration dates aren’t exclusive to your foods, and they’re found in your beauty products, too.
You may have noticed the expiration dates of other products before, or even heard about them from somewhere. But does lip balm expire?
The sad truth is that, yes, even your beloved lip balms expire, too, although the timeframe in which this happens can vary considerably. Generally, it depends on what’s in the balm that affects its expiry date, and this can vary due to the number of different variations of lip balm out there.
Once you’ve opened the product for the first time, and it’s been exposed to the atmosphere around you, as well as your lips, it’s instantly become a breeding ground for bacteria. While this may sound unpleasant, it’s nothing to be concerned about to begin with, but that’s just one of the reasons why lip balms expire.
|Lip Balm Ingredient||Shelf Life (Approximate)|
|Shea Butter||2-3 years|
|Cocoa Butter||2-3 years|
|Coconut Oil||1-2 years|
|Jojoba Oil||2 years|
|Vitamin E||2 years|
|Essential Oils||1-2 years|
It’s also down to the ingredients, as they’ll eventually break down and the formula will no longer be so effective. Usually, beauty products contain a certain type of ingredients known as preservatives, which are responsible for holding the formula together and keeping it fresh and usable for as long as possible. Once these preservatives start to break down, the other ingredients will do so along with it, and this leads to the product’s expiration.
Also read: Best Lip Balm With SPF (Products To Try)
How can I tell if my lip balm has expired?
We know that lip balms and related products can expire now, but we’ve already mentioned that the time this takes isn’t too clear and depends on the lip balms specifically. If this is the case, how will you know when your product has expired?
Usually, the easiest and clearest way to determine the expiration date of your lip balm is by taking a look at the packaging. You can usually find a small icon of a cosmetics pot or tube with a number inside it. The number written inside it indicates the approximate number of months it can be used of once opened.
|Signs of Expired Lip Balm|
|Change in texture|
|Rancid or unpleasant smell|
|Irritation or allergic reactions|
For example, if the number was 24, that means you can use the product for 24 months (2 years) after it’s been opened.
This isn’t the only indication of a product’s expiry, and you can often tell when a lip balm has spoilt. If there are any unusual smells or the product has started to unusually separate, this is a good indicator of expiration. In addition to this, if the texture feels abnormal when applied, for example it’s harder than it should be, this could be a sign.
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Can I use expired lip balm?
So, you’ve established that your treasured lip balm has now expired, but what do you do next? You’ve barely used this product, even though you opened it about two years ago, and it feels like a waste to just throw it away. So, do you keep it and continue using, or do you decide to just get rid of it anyway?
In terms of safety when using an expired lip balm, there’s not usually any danger to your health, and more often than not, you won’t visibly notice the fact that the product has gone out of date. Although it may feel strange to wear, it probably won’t cause any serious reaction. However, this isn’t to say that wearing an expired product is advised, and there is still the small chance that it could cause a slight allergic reaction.
The bigger issue in this situation is that the lip balm won’t work so well anymore, and you won’t get the same results as you used to. The chances are that you’ll probably end up with chapped, dry lips anyway, so using the expired product is pointless.
Not to mention, if you’re using an expired lip balm with SPF, it will probably no longer have any sun protection properties left. This can create a false sense of security, thinking you’ve got your lips protected when, in reality, you haven’t.
Also read: How Do You Use Lip Balm? (Explained)
Can I preserve my lip balms in any way?
While it would be great if we could cut down on waste and find a way to preserve lip balms, there’s not much we can do in the way of prolonging its lifespan longer than the expiry date.
However, there are a few preventative measures you can take to stop it from spoiling earlier than it should:
|Tips to Preserve Lip Balm Freshness|
|Store lip balm in a cool and dry place|
|Avoid exposing lip balm to direct sunlight|
|Keep lip balm tightly sealed when not in use|
|Use a clean finger or applicator to apply lip balm|
|Avoid sharing lip balm to prevent contamination|
|Regularly clean and sanitize lip balm containers|
|Replace lip balm if it shows signs of expiration or spoilage|
Although it can be frustrating, lip balms can expire, and it’s not recommended that you continue using them once this expiration has passed. Usually, the product won’t completely expire at once, and it’ll break down over a period of time. Make sure to look after your lip balms and keep them in appropriate conditions to preserve them as long as possible.