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Devan McGuinness
August 19, 2016 11:48 am

One of the staples in every woman’s morning routine should include a good moisturizer, preferably with sunscreen. It helps keep your skin hydrated, protected and leaves your skin looking fresh and dewy.

If this is already a part of your daily routine, chances are you own more than one moisturizer and you rotate which one is your daily favorite based on what you need. Some are better to use when it’s a really hot day with extra sunscreen. Others are better for colder windy days and some just smell better, TBH.

But can you have too much of a good thing?

According to experts, yes — because just like makeup, moisturizers have an expiration date. Using “old” product opens you up to potential issues like not working the way they should (which isn’t good for sun protection) or can even cause potential bacterial issues.

“Anything can go bad,” Dr. Heidi Waldorf, the Director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital says to Bustle. Explaining further, she adds, “1. Specialty anti-acne of anti-aging ingredients may become less effective, 2. Some ingredients like oils or particles in suspension can separate, 3. Anything in a jar accessed with your fingers can become contaminated with yeast and bacteria.”

Unfortunately, most moisturizers don’t come with a clearly defined end date printed on the packaging, but experts say there’s a good rule of thumb you can use when deciding if it’s safe to use or time to toss.

Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden, a New York City dermatologist, tells Real Simple that the time frame on when you should toss your moisturizer depends on whether it’s opened or not.

“When it comes to body moisturizer, throw away unfinished containers that have been open for more than two years,” Dr. Cook-Bolden says. “Sealed and unopened bottles should be good for three years.” She also cautions that if your product smells different or has a different texture before that time frame, it may be best to throw it away.

Dr. Cook-Bolden adds that if you’re using a moisturizer on a regular basis, “odds are you’ll need to replenish it before it expires,” but there are a few tricks to help get the most out of your product, before it expires.

Storing your moisturizer in a “room temperature or cool cabinet” can keep your products fresher longer, according to Dr. Waldorf.

If trying to keep track of when you purchased your products so you don’t use something that’s expired isn’t going to be simple for you – we feel you. But, like Dr. Cook-Bolden says, if you’re consistent with using your moisturizer every day, chances are you’ll be running to the store for more instead of having to throw it away.

Stay hydrated, friends!

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