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How many of you check the expiration dates in your cosmetics and skin care products?

If you’re a girl I’m pretty sure you have more or less an idea of how long your products last, a.k.a. unopened up to 3 years, once used some last from months to a year (I said more or less). 🙂

If you’re a guy…well, that’s a different story. Do you care about this much? When getting let’s say aftershave, expiry date is the last thing on your mind, right? Maybe the metro sexuals out there are aware of this (hate the term metro sexual but won’t get into that, it would be a topic for another blog post!).

Anyway, back in college, my school workload tended to be a little stressful (chem eng major), so I took facial cosmetology classes to relax and de-stress myself, and yes the fact that we got free facial treatments each week (we had to practice on each other) was a big plus and made my skin nice and glowy.

As a result, I made it a mission, with the help of my mom, to introduce my dad to the importance of male skin care. He is a doctor, a man’s man. He listened to my skin care advice, like any daddy tenderly listens to his little girl, but it took him a while to really admit that the advice really works!

My mom gets him fancy creams and after shaves and stuff. He’s not too thrilled when he gets them but after a while the empty containers in the trash can are evidence that he uses the stuff.


It all had worked great until today.  He finally decided to use this fancy french shaving foam my mom bought him and this post shave revitalizing fluid (cosmetic names are so flamboyant! he he)

Result: MAJOR rash on his neck! (hence the cartoon above). Like I said, he’s a doctor, so the situation was resolved by medicine. Thank God.

We checked out the containers for the expiration dates. The revitalizing fluid had the 18 month logo printed, and he just opened it so it wasn’t that. The shaving foam had nothing that any “plain jane” would understand as an expiration date.

There’s a reason for this and I quote:

…if shelf life of the cosmetic product is more than 30 months (e.g. 3 years), the expiry date probably will not be printed. – checkcosmetic.net

I won’t argue with the cosmetic industry and their labeling system (again that would be a topic for another blog post). What I want to let you who read me know, is how you can find the expiration dates on your cosmetics and skin care products so you can avoid what my dad experienced.

There are nifty online calculators, that let you know the production date of cosmetic products according to brand. These calculators include the major brands out there.

All you have to do is look for the batch code or number usually printed on the bottom of the containers. You select the brand of the product, type this number into the calculator, press enter and voilá, there you have it, the info that can save you from rashes, allergic reactions, infections, etc.

Check these calculators out!

  1. CheckCosmetic.com gives you the date of manufacture, the general shelf life of the product and let’s you know how much longer it is valid/safe to be used. Their FAQ section has important info. They have a news section and they also let you know how you can keep your products fresh and safe.
  2. CosmeticsWizard.net gives you the production date and even has a the mobile version of the calculator on Android market and can be translated to Chinese.

Turns out that what we call the “almost fatidic” shaving foam is in fact expired. Dad confessed mom gave him the foam a long while ago (he didn’t remember when LOL) and he just found it and decided to try it! (I love you daddy!)

I know because of this incident it would take my dad a while to start using fancy schmancy face stuff again. But hey, I’m my daddy’s daughter and one thing he’s taught me is to be persistent and don’t give up. I’m pretty sure I’ll convince him again to use skin care stuff but now I know he’ll be aware of expiration dates.

*update Apr 2013: In case you were wondering, dad is using fancy schmanzy men’s face creams again! And I had nothing to do with it!