In general, when you buy a super-expensive product, the salesperson tells you it will last forever, because, you see, you’re only going to use a small dab under your eyes in the morning and at night. I’ve always been suspicious of that line — though not enough to avoid making purchases far exceeding my expected spending limit.
I thought a gal could use her lotions and potions until eternity — or at least until she was so wrinkled that she had an epiphany and stopped fooling herself altogether. But then I figured I’d better check with a skin guru.
According to Marcia Kilgore, owner/goddess of New York City’s Bliss Spa, most creams have a shelf life of about six months. After that, the active ingredients are no longer active, and you’re just slathering yourself with defunct goo. If you’re only using moisturizer, it will continue to moisturize past the six-month cutoff. But if the product makes any claims along the lines of being “anti-wrinkle,” containing alpha hydroxy compounds, etc., then you’re better off replacing it.
She also told me that products in tubes last longer than products in jars, because you aren’t sticking your grubby fingers into the cream or gel each time you apply it.
I hung up the phone and ran to my bathroom to purge the dinosaurs from the shelf. The trash can filled up. I felt strangely liberated. Almost as much fun for the compulsive as cleaning the closet!