How do you check the age of your skin care, perfumes or make-up?

How do you check the age of your skin care, perfumes or make-up? Have you ever wondered just how old your skin care products really are? Is that brand new, just bought mascara still in date? Is this rare vintage perfume you found on eBay actually still going to work?Have you ever wondered just how old your skin care products really are? Is that brand new, just bought mascara still in date? Is this rare vintage perfume you found on eBay actually still going to work?

All… or almost all cosmetics are marked with a PAO – Period After Opening – this is the open jar symbol with numbers inside of it… 3, 6, 12, 24 months after opening… no problem there… you buy something today, you open it and you know exactly how much time you have until the product starts to deteriorate.

But what about the specific production date itself?

Obviously even unopened products can’t be perfect forever especially if they are not stored correctly and there is often some sort of a cut-off point after which they may start to be unsafe to use.

According to EU law, the manufacturer isn’t required to put an expiration date on any cosmetic products, unless their shelf life is less than 3 years. So all those face creams, perfumes, eye shadows and powders which normally have longer shelf life come with no date… or at least not a date which can be easily spotted or read by anyone without an insight but there is a solution…

CheckFresh is a website which helps you decipher batch codes of most publically available cosmetics and it will provide you with a date of manufacturing; then you can decided if the product is or isn’t safe to use.

This is one of my recent discoveries and I wish I had known about it earlier.

The CheckFresh website is easy to use:

  1. Select the brand you want to check
  2. Look at the pictures and read the batch code description – you would be surprised how much they might very from brand to brand
  3. Type your batch code into the box
  4. Press check and tada…
  5. The information is there… right in front of you!

Old cosmetics can contain harmful microbes and it is really important not to use something which is seriously out of date, especially if you have sensitive skin.

I actually checked the entire contents of my make-up bag… well… needless to say, I need to go shopping as some of my favourites had to go to the bin… better safe than sorry, right?

Check out the website, it’s free to use and tell me what you think about it?

Now you know what I know, do you think it would be helpful for consumers if all cosmetics had an expiry date clearly marked on the packaging?

18 thoughts on “How do you check the age of your skin care, perfumes or make-up?

  1. i just rely on the expiry date… but omg this website sounds like lot more easier and accurate for anything that doesnt have even an expiry date printed 🙂 thanks for the info.

  2. I’m going to check a few items out. I bot a perfume cheap from a bargain store and it didn’t smell very nice, so I think it’s out of date. This is perfect as I was going to just bin it.

  3. I didn’t see this coming!!! very informative. I also have a mascara and liquid eyeliner that I only use once a year during Halloween. I know. haha I’ll share this to my friends <3.

  4. Most of the time I used the reference based on POA. I threw out my skincare most of the time. Cosmetics wise it depends. I still keep my LE palettes which i don’t use. hahah

  5. very helpful and informative post! actually most cosmetics do not have a very long PAO time. that’s why i wonder how come those youtube beauty gurus who owns so many products did not experience any face rot, or perhaps these PAO time are just way too conservative?
    ps. I still have an unopened mascara that has been sitting in my drawer for… 3 yrs? I think I better chuck them away tonight when i get home….

I love all comments :-)