When to Throw Out Beauty Products

Most of you know that beauty products, skincare & cosmetics, expire and need to be replaced but it is often hard to remember those magic number of how often something needs to be replaced.

But guess what, your product packaging tells you!   Yup, it’s right there on the container under our noses!

I have even had some sales people not know this little golden nugget of information so I am going to pass it along to you.

If you turn over almost any cosmetic product you will see a symbol that looks similar to this:


The number before the M will change and this is what you need to pay attention to.  The symbol has different terms, but regardless it means the same thing. The most common term is Period After Opening (PAO).

It indicates how long the product is safe for use after opening. “12M” in this example means that the product will be good for 12 months after opening. The quantity is typically in “M” for months, and the number of months will vary between product types and manufactures.

If you know you’ve bought it before that time frame or you can not honestly remember when the last time you used the product was, odds are you should toss it!

In the future, an easy tip is to write the date it was opened on the bottom of the jar using a permanent marker. I like to keep a silver sharpie in my bathroom because it works on both white & black packaging and most other colors!

Here is a great articles if you would like to read more about this topic:

Here are a few more examples of where you can find that symbol

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