AMtoPM when to toss beauty products

Organize October | Three things…about expiry dates

AMtoPM when to toss beauty productsTo my fellow Canadians: Happy Thanksgiving! To everyone else who has come to this post: Happy Monday!

May your workday come to an end soon!

In this week’s installment of Organize October, I will be talking about expiry dates, plus three tips to keep on top of it all.

Last week I discussed organizing your beauty inventory and briefly went into what should be tossed.

Since I know this is a touchy subject and because I’ve been guilty of keeping something past its expiry date, I’m going to provide tips to make trashing a product not quite so difficult.

why it’s important to toss your expired goods

I am a pretty frugal person. Despite my proclivity to spend obscene amounts of money on skin care and anything else that strikes my fancy, I can be quite cheap.

It is painful for me to toss something that I may one day use, have not used up in its entirety or something that I paid good money for.

I used to rationalize this. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to throw it away because it was expensive. Or because it was half used. Or because they were near and dear to my heart. But these are poor reasons.

The preservatives in products typically have a shelf life. They break down over time and with use, as soon as the product is first cracked open. Keeping things past their expiry date leaves you and your skin open to bacteria and other nasties. Why risk any sort of reaction and irritation when it’s totally preventable?

Kick those products to the curb!

3 things to keep in mind when thinking expiry dates

1. Read your packaging.

Yeah, you know that bottle of sunscreen/essence/cleanser is what it says it is. You might even read the ingredient list. But have you looked for the expiry dates?

At least one is usually put on the product.

AMtoPM Nature Republic expiryAMtoPM lush expiry

There’s the manufacturer’s expiry date. Another one to check for is the open date.

AMtoPM crealine expiry

Ever come across the little opened jar with the number on it? That’s how many months your product will last based on the first time you open it.

2. Respect general guidelines.

Can’t find those dates despite looking everywhere? There is a general rule of thumb that you can follow.

There are resources everywhere on the Internet (check Pinterest, if you don’t believe me) but I like this one from Glamour. Thanks, Glamour!

For those of us who are more visually-inclined, here’s a pretty – and informative – graphic, care of

3. Observe your product.

Notice any changes in the product. Has it developed a weird film or changed colour? Maybe it’s time to toss that thing to the curb.

Ditto anything that smells funky or has had any sort of texture change.

3 tips to keep ahead of expiry dates

1. Only open what you will reasonably use.

An obvious one, but an important one some people ignore (myself, included, on occasion).

Most products can keep for at least a year unopened. Cut down on painful (and expensive) product culls by streamlining what you have open and in use.

An example: Last summer I had five SPF bottles open at a given time. Not completely outrageous given how much I was outside. Now that it’s autumn I’m more likely to have one SPF for my face/neck and a small tube for hands and any other bits.

2. Take note

Every time I open something I take note of the day I opened it. Then I write the approximate expiry date on my planner and program it into my Google calendar).

3. Issue reminders

Following tip 2, I write a reminder a week before I know a product will expire. I usually use the little open jar as a guideline. I put this date on my calendars, as well as the date to toss a product.

It’s always nice to get a reminder to toss a product. If I love it, I get another one. If I don’t, I get a reminder I might be in need of a shopping trip in the near future!

I find tossing things a lot easier if I reframe my thinking. If the product is something you’ve only half-used, was expensive or ended up being something you don’t like, don’t keep it.

It won’t make you feel better staring at it instead of putting it into the trash. It will just make you feel guilty.

Use this opportunity to purchase wisely next time. Get excited that you can try something new!

Who knows? Maybe the next thing you buy will be something you love.

Maybe even reach HG-worthy status.


Do you toss things by the guideline? Do you honour those best before dates?
How do you keep track of those expiry dates?
More importantly: is this the first time you’ve ever seen that little jar?

Let me know in the comments below or via social media!

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9 thoughts on “Organize October | Three things…about expiry dates

    1. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment Jasmin! It’s so hard to not open things as soon as I get something. The struggle is real!

    1. Hey Jhem!
      Yeah, haha. I had to point it out to Jan once before she noticed them on the bottles too! The pictures are so tiny, I don’t blame you for only noticing now! 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment, Juliana! I know! It feels like I’m giving something precious away. Sometimes it’s because it is. I’m really good about coming up with convincing arguments to keep stuff, too. Stay tuned! I have another post coming up to keep track of everything!

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