Even the best formulated beauty products expire at some point and learning to recognize the signs of a good product gone bad is extremely useful to be able to avoid some pretty embarrassing beauty problems that might even affect your health.

Except for all-natural, homemade beauty products which are expected to go bad sooner than all others and usually have easily noticeable signs, it can be quite difficult to estimate the moment when most beauty products should be tossed. However, learning to recognize the signs early can save us from a lot of frustration if problems appear like inefficiency or embarrassing irritations.

From plain moisturizers to fancy, expensive anti-aging serums and products, everything has an expiration date that should be considered. Waiting for the product formulas to disintegrate might not be the best approach, especially since some can prove pretty irritating. Use this quick guide to determine whether a certain product needs to be tossed:

Hydroquinone Creams

These creams have a surprisingly short lifespan and also show one of the most visible signs of going bad. If the cream starts going brown, that's a clear indication that you should toss it. To prolong the life of such products, it's recommended to choose air-tight containers and even to store them in the fridge.

Acne Products

Just like hydroquinone creams, these products typically last longer when they are stored in the fridge, so this step is still highly recommended. In normal circumstances, however, ingredients like Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid maintain their properties intact for four months to half a year.

Conventional glycolic acid based products

Used for the potent exfoliating capabilities, this ingredient is usually included in a variety of face masks or peels. With the passage of time, the ingredients that make the product skin friendly can become less effective opening the door for potential irritations when the acid is applied on the skin. It is estimated that it can be used safely for approximately three months.

Moisturizers

In the case of a moisturizer, things can vary. If the moisturizer contains anti-aging ingredients, it usually expires sooner as these ingredients tend to be extremely sensitive. However, a simple, common moisturizer can last for over a year. To avoid bacterial contamination that might cause problems, wash your hands carefully before applying it.

Retinoids

Some of the most effective anti-aging ingredients known so far, retinoids typically last between nine months and a year. After this time mark, the power of these wrinkle fighting ingredients tends to diminish quite significantly. Store properly in order to ensure maximum efficiency and to avoid wasting your hard earned money in vain.

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