In preparation for writing this post, I thoroughly went through my bathroom cabinets and unearthed every hair product that I own. A sampling of what I uncovered is a canister of TRESemmé Curl Enhancing Mousse that was missing a cap, some Paul Mitchell Leave-in Thickening Conditioner cream that I recall using two years ago in college, Bain de Terre Chamomile Styling Foundation, and an aerosol of Biosilk Silk Therapy Shine On Spray that I got who knows when and can only recall using once.
With the exception of the Bain de Terre bottle that showed a little icon of an open jar with a small 18M (months) printed in the middle, none of these products displayed any sort of expiration date. So, how am I supposed to know when it is time to throw them away?
According to an article we came across on iVillage.com, the industry standard for keeping a product after it has been opened is 18 months. So, now that you know that, go get a permanent marker and start writing the date on every new product that you buy.
But for the products that you have already, a few clues that they might be wastebasket-worthy are:
a) They don’t work as well as they used to.
b) The once flowery or citrus scent has been replaced by a somewhat disturbing odor.
c) If the product is a cream is will eventually separate and become discolored. A dark yellow color is a particularly bad sign (as if you couldn't figure that one out on your own!).
To help give your products a longer shelf life, always keep them in a cool, dark place.
Heading somewhere warm for Thanksgiving? Think twice before grabbing this summer's leftover sunscreen–it may have expired, too.