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Spring Cleaning? Let Us Help!

If we keep talking about spring things, the weather has to eventually cooperate, right? You know, spring things like baseball, patio season, cottage openings, gardening, and did we mention patio season? To be fair, we did just have a pretty nice weekend weather-wise, and we hope you enjoyed it!


As well as those lovely spring things there is also everyone’s other favourite – or not – spring tradition…spring cleaning!


There really is nothing like flinging open the windows on the first really nice, sunny, and warm day of the season, and going to town on your home, is there? We’re talking a good old-fashioned ultra cleaning session, to get rid of the winter vibe that continues to linger longer than it should.


We spring clean our homes and wardrobes, we put away our winter coats, boots, and hats in order to make way for sandals, sleeveless dresses, sunscreen, and… Wait. Sunscreen. “When did I buy that? Is that from last year? I wonder if it’s still good?” Does this sound familiar? Well, you’re probably not alone!




You might be surprised to know that beauty products don’t last forever. “But don’t you just use a product until it’s gone?” you might be asking. And perhaps that is true! But what about those products that you only use occasionally, or the ones you bought on a whim, and rarely use? Or that product you got as a free sample last month…or was that last year? This is what we’re here to talk about today.


Just as you’d give side eye to milk or yogurt that’s past its expiration date, it’s a good idea to do the same with beauty products. If you take a look at your hair and other products, you’re usually unlikely to see an actual date of expiry, but what you will see is the Period After Opening, or PAO date. 

Look for the PAO symbol, a little jar with a number letting you know how long it should last!

Look for the PAO symbol, a little jar with a number letting you know how long it should last!


The products in this photo, for example, are good for 24 months after opening. That’s a pretty great shelf life, to be honest! So you’ll either want to use up the product completely, or discard it after about two years. Obviously these dates are not carved in stone, you’ll want some guidelines for determining what might need to go, and we’ll get to that in a minute.




Well great, you might be thinking. How am I supposed to remember exactly when I bought those hair products? Well, the good news is that products for your hair actually do last longer than things like makeup and skincare products, but they still have a shelf life that should be observed and double checked. And, unlike expired makeup/skincare products that may do damage by contributing to infections, skin irritations and other issues, past date hair products will most likely just lose their effectiveness, and not work as well as they did when you first purchased them.


So while the consequences of expired hair products aren’t as dire as, say, using old mascara that could possibly give you an eye infection, using old-ish hair products won’t do your hair any good.  And why risk a bad hair day?!




If you’re spring cleaning anyway, why not take stock of your products? Now we’re not saying you need to start from scratch and make a clean sweep! We know the value of your hair and makeup products, and we know you work hard for the money! But since spring is a season of renewal and freshness, it might be a good time to check what you have. Here are a few guidelines to help you along:


  • Definitely discard anything that smells “off”. If you know what a product should smell like, and it kind of doesn’t anymore, well, better safe than sorry.


  • If something looks like it’s changed in the bottle or the container – maybe the colour is off, or it’s watery when it used to be thicker – it’s probably a good idea to toss it. Exposure to air, water, and humidity can alter products and, as we said above, they can lose their effectiveness, and stop working properly.


  • Finally, if you KNOW FOR A FACT that you bought that product ages ago, and you just haven’t used it, and it’s hanging out in your shower or your cupboard, it might be time to cut your losses.


It can be difficult to say goodbye to some of the old favourites, but let’s face it, if they’re past date, they’re really not doing you any favours anymore. And just think of the space you’ll have in your shower or cabinet!



Visit these websites for even more detailed information about expiration dates and how long specific types of skincare and beauty products might last:


Lifehacker – Do Skin Care Products and Toiletries Ever Expire?


Cinta Aveda Institute – How to Know if Your Beauty Products Are Expired


Cosmetics Info – Shelf Life and Expiration Dates


Thanks for tuning in, and happy purging! See you back here on Friday with a Walk For Water update!


This article was posted in Hair, Products.
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