When To Throw Out Your Grooming Products

You’ve made the decision to “use what you have” when it comes to your grooming products. To clean out your medicine cabinet, your under-the-sink bathroom cabinet, and even your linen closet in search of those moisturizers, sunscreens, eye creams, acne medicines, shampoos, lip balm and all of the other things you spend hundreds of dollars on each year to keep yourself looking young, fresh and stylish.

But, wait. How do you know if all of those products are still effective? Or, better yet, not harmful to use? Lucky for you, there are some ways to tell if you should throw on that cream or throw it out. Here there are some general guidelines on the length of time that some men’s grooming products are still effective.

Expiration Date

Unfortunately, you won’t always find an expiration date stamped on your men’s grooming products like you’d find on the food you buy. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration only requires manufacturers to put expiration dates on products that include medicine like acne creams, sunscreen or dandruff shampoo. If your products don’t have an expiration date (sometimes labeled EXP), see if they have a Period After Opening (PAO) date. A “PAO 6M” means that product should be good six month after opening. 

General Guidelines

If your products don’t have an expiration or PAO date, you may have to rely on these general guidelines for keeping different types of products:

Throw out BEFORE 1 year

  • Acne creams (3 months after opening)
  • Loofahs (3 weeks max) & Sponges (7 weeks)
  • Facial serums (that contain retinol, glycolic acid, & Vitamin C (6 months)

Throw out AFTER 1 year

  • Lip balm (if opened)
  • Sunscreen (regulated by the FDA and should have an expiration date)
  • Moisturizer
  • Eye Creams
  • Teeth whitening strips

Throw out AFTER 2 years

  • Shampoo (longer, if unopened)
  • Conditioner
  • Hair spray
  • Mousse
  • Other haircare products
  • Shaving cream
  • Toothpaste
  • Cologne

Throw out AFTER 3 years

  • Body wash
  • Bars of soap
  • Deodorant
  • Mouthwash

Making Product Last Longer

There are things you can do to help make your men’s grooming products last their longest. Keep moisturizers, creams, shampoos and conditioners in a cool, dark place and, if possible, use pumps that will decrease the their contact with air to keep them fresher longer. Also keep acne and anti-aging products out of direct sunlight, which will zap their effectiveness. Try to keep sunscreen at room temperature, avoiding those super hot or cold temps that they might find in the glovebox of your car, for example. As for the products that you wash with like bars of soap, body wash and shampoos, you’ll want to keep lids on and soap in dishes to avoid the extra moisture that can attract  unwanted bacteria.

Questions? Contact Your Barrington Men’s Salon Today

If you’re still not sure about the products in your home, call (224) 633-2188 and ask the pros at 18|8 Barrington. These men’s salon experts can evaluate your products and point you in the direction of some newer, more effective men’s salon products that are best for your skin type. You’ll find a classic barbershop at 18|8 Barrington with a modern twist serving men from the entire Chicago area. From haircuts and shaves, to “man-icures” and facials, the experts at 18|8 Barrington will relax and rejuvenate you and have you looking like a true gentleman. Schedule an appointment today using our convenient online appointment scheduler.