With the colder months approaching, it’s important to keep your lips moist and protected.
Lip balm is a great way to do this.
But if you don’t use your lip balm all the time, then you might be wondering if it expires.
We asked skincare expert and dermatologist Ally Wheeler to get her take on the matter.
Does lip balm expire?
Lip balm does expire.
However, the expiry date will differ depending on the ingredients, if it’s been opened, or if it’s been exposed to heat.
Dermatologist Ally Wheeler says, “lip balms containing natural ingredients will expire quicker than standard lip balms. Ingredients such as shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil are all common lip balm ingredients that expire quickly.”
If your lip balm has expired, you’ll likely notice a difference in consistency, appearance, and smell.
“Since lip bams are a product that’s applied to your lips, it’s important to avoid them if they’ve expired. If you use an expired lip balm, there is a chance of developing an infection or having an allergic reaction,” says Ally
How long does lip balm last?
Most lip balms will last for 12 months.
If your lip balm has been exposed to heat, humidity, or has been opened, then the lip balm will expire quicker.
Also, natural ingredients in lip balm expire quicker than standard ingredients – around 6 months.
For your lip balm to last as long as possible, keep it in a cool, dry place.
How do you know if your lip balm has gone bad?
Lip balm that has gone back will often develop mold, especially if the lip balm contains natural ingredients.
Dermatologist Ally Wheeler says, “mold can develop in lip balm if it’s been exposed to humidity or moisture, so regular checks are important.”
If you notice mold in your lip balm, you should stop using it immediately and throw it away.
Using moldy lip balm can lead to lip infections.
Expired lip balm has a noticeable difference in smell.
It might smell musty or rancid, whereas fresh lip balm will have no distinct smell unless it contains fragrance.
Change in texture
If your lip balm has expired, it might have a thicker, harder, or crusty texture.
Dermatologist Ally Wheeler says, “lip bams should be smooth and creamy, with a slight glide to them; if they’ve expired, then you might notice a difference in texture.”
How to extend the life of your lip balm
To extend the life of your lip balm, you should store it in a cool, dry place.
Keep it away from heaters, radiators, and windowsills where it can be exposed to extreme humidity.
“Most people store their lip balm in the bathroom, but this is a really bad place to store it due to the heat and steam from showers,” says Ally.
You should also keep your lip balms sealed tight when you’re not using them to prevent any bacteria or mold from entering.
Lip balm does expire, but you can extend its life by storing it correctly
When trying to determine if your lip balm is expired, look for mold, musty smells, and changes in the product’s texture.
If there are mold, smell, or texture changes, then it’s time to throw your lip balm away.