Have you ever had a bathroom cabinet where the back edges seemed to be filled with products that had been forgotten for years? If so, you might want to take a look at expiration dates. Does body wash expire? If so, is it safe to use after its expiry date? To answer this question, we researched the information and came up with our response.
Body wash does expire. However, it’s usually safe to use after its expiry date. It’s likely not to be as effective and may not lather as much as it normally would.
Most body washes and shower gels will last for 12 months after being opened and will be marked with a PAO (period after opening) label. If the bottle has never been opened, it should expire 3 years from the date of purchase. Homemade or natural soaps may expire sooner, after as little as one year, due to the fragrances and essential oils. However, many types of shower gel expire at different rates, depending on its ingredients and whether or not it’s been opened.
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Unopened body wash
Most body washes can last three years if they are unopened. Even if it is not opened, a separation of product or the scent might lose its potency.
Although natural ingredients that are used to make body wash break down quicker than those in a typical store-bought product, they do not have the preservatives that improve shelf life. Most store-bought products last much longer because of these chemicals added inside.
Opened body wash
Once you open your body wash, it begins aging rapidly. If you let bacteria inside the sealed package, they will begin breeding if there is enough food for them and ingredients in the product are evaporating quickly.
Pay attention to the PAO label on a body wash container. The PAO is usually abbreviated and stands for the expiration date: 12M means twelve months, or 2Y means two years. FDA-certified shower gels must have a POA printed on them.
Natural body washes have an inherently shorter lifespan than products with chemicals. As such, the PAO printed on these items will be shorter than a non-natural substance as well.
Is it safe to use expired body wash?
It is safe to use body wash that has expired a few months after its expiry date, but it won’t be as effective anymore.
You shouldn’t use body wash that is years after its expiry date because you can’t guarantee if it’s gone bad and what reaction your skin will have to it. This goes for opened and unopened products.
For a product with chemicals in it, the expiration date means the formula will stop being potent and could change color or texture.
For natural products, expiration dates can vary depending on how quickly the ingredients are evaporating. You should check for signs of mold and a change in smell.
Here are some of the ways you can tell your body wash has expired:
Loss of scent
Expired body wash might not have such a strong smell anymore. This is because the strong fragrance might have been a signifier of freshness.
This isn’t necessarily harmful, but you might not want to use it anymore. Similarly, the detergent in expired shower gel might not be as powerful, so it can’t break up dirt and germs as well as it used to. This means it doesn’t get rid of all the dirt and germs.
Change of consistency or color
The clearest sign of expiration for body wash is when it changes consistency. The texture and color are likely to change.
If this happens, then don’t use the product anymore. While this does not mean that the product is dangerous, it’s largely due to one of its ingredients evaporating or becoming useless.
Lack of lather
One quick way to figure out if your body wash has expired is by seeing whether it still lathers. If the soap doesn’t foam up really well, it probably won’t do much good against dirt and sweat either.
Signs of rot
More likely to happen with natural products, always throw away the product if you see visible mold or it’s rotten smelling. This one doesn’t really need explaining.
How do you know if body wash is expired?
You can usually tell if your body wash is expired based on the expiration date.
Additional expiration signs are changes in the smell, texture, or color of the product.
If you’re not sure about your body wash expiration date, and it is made with chemicals, then look for a change in formula potency as an indicator that it’s expired. This would also be true if there have been any alterations to the container packaging.
Soaps can go bad when they get too moist or start developing mold due to high humidity levels. You should keep them away from places like bathrooms where steam could build up inside and affect their quality over time. This will shorten expiration dates and make them more susceptible to bacteria growth within the soap itself.
Wondering if body wash can be used as shampoo? Click here to find out.
What happens when you use expired body wash?
Depending on how long has passed since the expiration date, you will notice different changes.
If you use body wash a few months after the expiration date, you won’t likely experience anything unusual, even if the product has been opened.
If you use a body wash a few years after the expiration date, it may not lather as well, and you run the risk of it irritating your skin.
Body wash does expire. Depending on how long it is past its expiry date, it may be safe to use.
We hope that this post has answered your question about the expiration date and the safety of using expired body wash.
If you have any more questions, please comment below, and we will be happy to answer them!