Does body lotion go bad?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does body lotion go?” and other queries related to the topic.

Does body lotion go bad? 

Yes, eventually any type of body lotions go bad, but most of the time if the container is kept sealed the lotion can last for at least 3 years. However, when the container has once opened the lotion will last for 1 year.

Many lotions suggest timeframes for their products and when to use them after it’s been opened, the time can range between 12 and 24 months depending on the type of the lotion, so make sure to check the product label.

It may be helpful to write the date you opened the lotion directly on the container with a permanent marker so you’ll know when to toss it, also avoid buying products in bulk despite having a low cost.

Preservatives and the ingredients added to the lotion have a shelf-life, like some active ingredients such as antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. Beyond this shelf-life, the product will be ineffective and will not last for a long time, also we will have a risk of bacterial and fungal overgrowth within the product.

A body lotion or any lotion should match your skin type, the primary benefit of the lotion is to hydrate your skin and avoid negative effects on it. Some lotions are formulated for oily skin, others for combined or dry skin.

There are many types of lotions:

  • Body lotions
  • Face moisturizers
  • Anti-aging cream
  • Eye cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand Cream

Can I use expired lotion? 

Yes, you can use an expired lotion but it is advisable not to do it. Using an expired lotion won’t necessarily cause any harm but expired lotion won’t work the way it should. An active ingredient added to the lotion will not be doing its job and hydrating your skin effectively.

Bacterial growth is a major problem within an expired product, that might lead to skin problems along with some skin reactions and breakouts. Along with bacterial growth, expired lotions lose their proper consistency and become lumpy, and do not feel good on your skin making them less effective and skin irritating.

Throw your old product and buy a new one to ensure that you are benefiting from its hydrating effect to the maximum.

How can I tell that my body lotion has expired? 

There are multiple signs to tell that your body lotion has expired since it can be tricky to figure out when you should throw it away. First, the smell of the product can change, and sometimes when bacterias grows in the formula it causes a rancid sort of smell.

Second, as mentioned before, the texture of the product might change especially if it is water-based, because when emulsifiers degrade through time the watery formula that clumps toward the bottom, and the solution will be separated. 

Finally, the color of the lotion. When the product is exposed to air and light it will be oxidized, leaving the product with a yellow, brown, or orange color,

How do I properly store my body lotion?

Store your lotion in a cool, dry place, away from light and extreme temperatures to prevent the product ingredients from altering and to help it reach its optimal shelf life. The best place to store your lotion is in your bedroom and avoid putting them in the bathroom. Heat and humidity can cause the formula ingredients to degrade faster and increase bacterial growth within the lotion.

Moreover, when storing your lotion or your product properly, it can last longer but that does not mean that it will not expire.

If your lotion comes in a jar, use a spoon, a beauty spatula, or a clean and dry finger to scoop out the lotion. If you are using your finger make sure that it is dry and clean because adding water to the formula will lead to bacterial overgrowth and change in the formula ingredients. If using a beauty scoop, ensure that it is clean and dry before putting it in the jar. 

Make sure when scooping from the jar to tightly close the lid to minimize its exposure to air and light.

To avoid using a spoon, a beauty spatula, or your finger and risking the loss of your lotion quality, try to buy pumps that last for longer because the product will not be directly exposed to air or light since it has a goop.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does body lotion go bad?” and other queries related to the topic.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.