Does Your Body Lotion Expire?

by Shopify API on Jul 06, 2024


There is no one definitive answer to the question of does body lotion expire? Some people say that lotion has a shelf life of around two years, while others claim that it can last for up to five years. The bottom line is that it depends on the ingredients in the lotion and how it is stored.

Does Body Lotion Expire?

Does Lotion Expire?

Lotion and skincare products are not meant to last forever. Most bottles have a suggested "time-after-opening" date. This is usually indicated by a number followed with the letter M--this shows how many months you can keep the product in use before it's time to go. This number could be anywhere from 12 to 24 months for lotion.

The expiration dates of products can vary, so make sure you read the labels. Lightweight hydration is water-based, which allows for a thinner consistency. This is because water can be a fertile ground for bacteria. Although most market products include safe preservatives to keep the formula stable, they tend to have a shorter shelf life.

What about oil-based lotions, Because there is no water, oil-based lotions tend to last longer. You should be aware that user behavior can introduce moisture to the formula, which we'll discuss later.

Read also: Does Body Wash Expire? Top Full Information 2022

What About DIY Formulations?

You might already have some lotions in your home because they are so easy to make. These options aren't subject to expiration dates.

Water-based lotions can be kept for one month with rosewater and aloe vera gel. DIY formulations aren't preservative-free, so they won't last long before going rancid or, worse, becoming contaminated.

Liquid-free lotions with shea butter, moringa oil, and so on. The lotion can be kept for up to one year. It is advised that you scoop the lotion out with dry hands or a spoon to prevent bacteria from getting into the formula.

Learn how to make your own body lotion, click here.

Signs Your Lotion Has Expired

Signs Your Lotion Has Expired

Do you remember the tip about user behavior we shared? The good news is that you can extend the shelf-life of lotions well before it reaches the two-year mark. Mainly if you prefer tubs or jars to pumps, you introduce air, light, and possibly water into the formula every time you open the lid and dip your fingers in. This can make it degrade faster.

However, you should not be surprised if your lotion shows any of these symptoms before the expiration date.

  • Smell: You should smell the product. Sometimes bacteria can enter a product and cause a rancid smell.
  • Texture: Ex-lotions can also be separate, especially if they are water-based. (Water and oil are not friends! You may find that your formula becomes watery and clumps towards the bottom as a result of the loss of emulsifiers
  • Color: Skincare products can become yellow, orange, and brown if they are exposed to light and air. You may notice a new color to your lotion that you have never seen before. This could be an indication it is time to buy a new product.

Storage Tips To Prolong Its Life

It would help if you never left the lotion on its expiration date. We repeat: Skincare formulas don't last forever. You can prolong the shelf life of your lotion by following these steps. Here's how:

1. Keep It In A Dry, Cool Place.

You should apply lotion to damp skin to seal in moisture. This is why you might want your hydrator of preference in the bathroom. It's easy to access, right?

Experts recommend that you store your bottles in a dry, cool area such as your bedroom. If you don't want to use it immediately after you have toweled off, you can place it outside your bathroom door.

2. Use Clean Fingers Or A Spoon.

Make sure you clean your hands before you dip your fingers in the lotion. If you are using a liquid-free DIY formula, wet fingers can add water to the formula. This can lead to bacterial growth.

To scoop the lotion out, you can use a spoon or a beauty spatula. Just make sure they are dry and clean.

3. Opt For Pumps

Pumps tend to last longer than the tubs and jars mentioned above. You don't have the hassle of scooping the lotion with your fingers, and you are less likely to introduce bacteria or water to the formula. You can also pump the exact amount you need into your hands, which means the lotion has a greater staying power.

4. Keep The Caps And Lids Secured.

This doesn't mean you have to throw out your lotion tubes and jars. Just make sure to close the lid tightly after each use to reduce air, water, and light seepage into the formula.

How To Keep Lotions Effective

How To Keep Lotions Effective

These steps can be taken with your lotion to help decrease the chances of premature expiration.

Only shop at reputable shops or directly from the manufacturer. Old products are often sold at flea markets and online stores. Sometimes, products can even be altered.

Do not buy lotions without a seal. This could be a sign that the product has been altered in transit or at the store, which could compromise the ingredients. It could also be contaminated with bacteria.

Check the expiration dates for sunscreens. You can pass on a product if it expires in a few months.

Avoid exposing lotions to excessive heat sources. This includes your home, car, and workplace heat. If possible, store all cosmetics in a medicine cabinet or cupboard.

For any further information, contact the manufacturer. Based on the information they receive from your product label, they may be able to give you an estimate of the manufacturing date and expiration time.

Can I Use Expired Lotion?

It is unlikely that lotions used after their expiration dates will cause any harm. The jarred lotion exception is this rule, as it can harbor bacteria over time.

Even though expired lotion won't cause you any harm, it can make you feel worse. Your lotion's active ingredients won't work and may leave you without the hydration or other benefits that you were hoping for.

You can throw out any expired lotions and get a new one. You can be sure that you are getting the best results without worrying about whether or not it will work.


Body lotion does expire. Most body lotions have a shelf life of about two years. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your body lotion, be sure to check the expiration date and use it before it expires.