As a general rule, most cosmetics are good for about a year after opening, and potentially longer for anhydrous (water-free) products like powders. Even with the use of preservatives, your makeup and skincare products won’t last forever!
One of the beauty industry's little-known facts is the period-after-opening (PAO) symbol often located on a product tube, label or box tells you exactly how long long your products are good after opening. The PAO symbol is a jar with an open lid and a number inside, usually 6M, 12M, 24M or 30M. If your product doesn’t display a PAO and the box is long-gone, these are our guidelines for tossing opened products.
If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to evaluate your current go-to products. The best way to keep track of your cosmetics is to label your products with a permanent marker of the date you purchased the item and the date opened.