Picture this: yesterday, Martin Luther King day.

My husband has the day off and wants to take me out. So I hop in the shower to get ready. After a quick conditioner wash, I decide to use a hair product I haven’t in a while. The oldie-but-goodie that’s stashed at the back of the drawer. You know the one.

I dipped my fingers into the product and thought it felt a bit thicker than it used to…but paid the texture no mind because I was in a hurry. Slicked it through my damp hair as usual, got dressed and left. It wasn’t until I was already in the car that I noticed the problem. There was… a very There’s Something About Mary thing happening on the ends of my curls. We’re talking visible clumps of product. Eww.

And my hair was gummy to the touch. ICK! By the time I got home, the ends of my hair was clumpy, sticky, and altogether GROSS.

I know all products have an expiration date, but when it comes to topical products, I never consider the potential problems. However the same way we consider expiration dates with food, we should also consider with makeup. I’ve been really bad with expiraton dates on my makeup items in the past, but after this experience I am DONE with using old makeup, hair and body products!

According to The Beauty Brains, there are 4 ways to tell if your cosmetic has expired. I ignored the key sign that the product had thickened. So don’t be like me! If you’ve got body or beauty products that are three to five years old and you haven’t used them in a while…open them, smell them, touch them. See if they pass the test before you bring them back into the rotation!

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SanTara says:
January 18, 2011, 11:10 am
LOL!! I have been here before w/ the product dangling on the ends of the curl (a frost trimmed tree) thanx for the reminder to check the products expiration!!
Sabrina R Perkins says:
January 18, 2011, 11:54 am
Good to know. You never really think about that with hair and beauty products.
BlackBetty says:
January 18, 2011, 12:58 pm
Change of texture, scent, etc are all big signs. That's another reason to avoid being a product junkie. It's basically impossible to use all of your products before they go rancid.
Tiffany Hall says:
January 18, 2011, 1:39 pm
Patrice, I did the same thing with a tube of well known shine gel that had separated in the clear tube. I just mashed it around and used it anyway. I had huge white streaks that looked like rubber cement all over my hair. Never again.
Sonia says:
January 18, 2011, 1:41 pm
Bella, Interesting post! After reading this I closely examined the labeling on some of my favorite products. I couldn't find any expiration dates. Why is this? The FDA requires this on foods, but not on make-up?
Happiness says:
January 18, 2011, 3:30 pm
Yes, I have had this happen before with some old products. Bacteria builds up inside, particularly if you dip your fingers into the product, as you stated. Also, certain oils can turn rancid after some time, you can ususally tell by smelling the product, it won't smell like it's supposed to. Also, if the product is old, there is a possibility of it drying out, particularly, if it contains water. Best to get a scoop for some products and store them in a cool dry place. If you store them in the bathroom, think how hot it gets in there, not to talk of wet/damp. I deal conditions for bacteria to grow in hair products where you have dipped your hands in.
SoFrolushes says:
January 19, 2011, 2:53 pm
in that case I ought to throw away a face a cream. I have not had any bad reactions yet though
Naturalness (LV) says:
January 21, 2011, 8:28 am
Wow, something I've never thought about. I check the expiration date on food and medicine of course, but never thought about hair products expiring. Thanks for the heads up!
Shannon says:
January 25, 2011, 11:37 am
Good advice. I'm always trying to remember "When did I buy this mascara? Is that a pink eye spore?"
Ms.M says:
January 26, 2011, 12:31 pm
I always look at the bottom of the product on the back. It has a little jar with a number written inside of it. I always thought that let you know how long you could keep a product once you have opened it.
Hair Loss Vitamins says:
January 27, 2011, 12:35 am
Thank goodness you only used it once! Excessive use of expired products can really damage your hair!
Black Girl says:
February 25, 2011, 2:19 pm
I had some aloe vera gel that I used for my edges. I stored it in the fridge thinking that it would last me a long time. After about 7 days it turned pink, then purple, then brown. It no longer had a gel consistency but it was more like liquid. I used it while it was pink, but the effects weren't as great. I wanted to use it after it turned brown but I couldn't muster the courage after smelling it and almost passing out!lol. The thing is I just hate to throw things away after spending my hard earned money :( Now I know better, if any products changes even slightly it becomes one with the trash. There's no way I'm putting any bacteria laden products in my hair!


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