Expert urges Brits to check expiry date on skincare after viral TikTok

Many of us use a range of products to keep our skin youthful, but when it comes to the expiry dates of our lotions and potions, lots of us are clueless.

An expert has now sounded the alarm after a viral TikTok revealed the shocking effects of using out-of-date chemicals. The video, by BeastEaster (@beasteaster) – which had amassed 1.9 million likes – showed her painful experience with acne cream that had gone off.

Despite knowing it was past its use-by date, she applied the cream to her face, only to frantically wash it off as her skin began to burn. Tragically, it was too late to prevent damage, and her cheeks soon developed bright red blisters.

She told her 20.3 million followers: “I am in so much pain and physically can’t even look at myself, I felt very defeated,” adding: “After being in so much pain I finally agreed to go to the hospital four days after. I won’t bring any attention to the brand because this was 1000% my fault and I still absolutely adore the brand.”

She then warned fans: “I just want to be a voice and let everyone know to routinely check all makeup and skincare product expiration dates.”

The victim’s post quickly sparked a flurry of comments, with many users admitting they still used products that were past their prime. One said: “I’ve seen so many of these videos and I still keep using my expired face masks,” while another added: “Brb gonna go throw out the three-year-old skin care I use once every few months.”

But what actually happened to BeastEaster? According to Susie Ma, the CEO and founder of Tropic Skincare, this is likely the result of using harsh, gone-off chemicals – emphasising just how dangerous it can be to use older skincare.

“The most obvious disadvantage of using expired skincare products is that they may not be as effective as fresh ones,” Ma explained. “So, if you’re using an expired face cream, you might not be getting the same hydration or anti-ageing benefits as you would from a fresh one.”

“[But], expired face products can actually cause skin irritation, breakouts, and other problems like this TikTok user, and using expired facial products results in a less effective routine that can further lead to long-term skin issues.”

To avoid disaster, Susie advises a monthly check of your beauty arsenal. While expiry dates may not leap off the packaging, look for the ‘period after opening’ symbol.

This looks like a jar with a number and an ‘M’ inside, with the symbol indicating just how long a product can be used for after it’s been opened. Usually, this ranges between six and 24 months.

If the product doesn’t appear to have this, check the ingredient list for a ‘use by’ or ‘expiration date’. Ma continued: “This can be confusing, as you may not know when you originally opened the product, so when you introduce something new to your skincare regime you should make a note of the month you started using the product.”

Paying attention to the smell, texture and overall appearance of a product can also help you steer clear of a skincare disaster. Any changes could indicate that ingredients are separating or going off, so it may be time to buy a new bottle.

Ma continued: “The storage of skincare products can also impact the quality of them. They should be stored in a cool, dark space (like a bathroom cabinet, not a shelf), especially actives like vitamin C, which are at risk of oxidation when exposed to sunlight.

“This is also why actives like vitamin C should be housed in dark glass bottles, which is what we’ve done with our Tropic Skincare products.”

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