Shelf life of make-up
Within the European Union it is compulsory to indicate on make-up how long the product has a shelf life. The manner in which this is indicated depends on the shelf life of the product in its unopened state, also known as 'shelf life'; the shelf life of the product if you were to place it on a shelf unopened and not use it. Three categories can be distinguished to indicate shelf life:
- Long shelf life: If the product has an unopened shelf life of 30 months or more (without being used), it must be indicated how long the product can be used after it has been opened. This must then be indicated by means of the 'jar symbol'. This is a jar containing the number of months that a product can be used after it has been opened.
All Unity Cosmetics' products - with the exception of the nail polish (see category 3) - fall into this category. Unused, the products can be kept for years, but once you start using them, the shelf life is limited. Usually up to 2 years after use (24 months), but for some products it is 12 months or 6 months. It is always stated on the product!
- Short shelf life: If the product has an unopened shelf life of less than 30 months, it must be stated on the product until when it can be used, in the same way as for foodstuffs. This is usually done in the form of the text 'best used before date x' or by means of an hourglass with a date indicating when the product can be used.
- Unlimited shelf life: If the product has an unlimited shelf life, also after use, there is no need to indicate a shelf life. Also for single use products there is no need to indicate the shelf life. Unity Cosmetics' nail varnish falls into this category. The shelf life is unlimited, so there is no jar symbol or date on our nail polish.
The intention of this law is that the consumer has the right to know until when a product can be used responsibly. Just as consumers need to know that with food, it is also important to know that with products that you use on your body. For Unity Cosmetics, this is a given. On all of our products, you'll find the jar symbol indicating the number of months you can use the product after first opening.
Do you have a make-up product that does not have a jar symbol or an expiry date? Then that product has an unlimited shelf life (in cosmetics, however, this is only the case for a few products), or the product was not manufactured in the European Union, or the manufacturer does not comply with these European legal requirements!
Do you doubt the shelf life?
If a product has a short shelf life and therefore contains a date (as explained in category 2), it is easy to determine whether a product can be used safely or not. But if a product contains the jar symbol, or no information at all, it is usually not so easy. After all, how do you remember when you first used the product? Most consumers have no idea when they first used their lip gloss or mascara. This makes it difficult to know whether the product will last, as you have to remember the date when you first used it. If you can't remember, just use your common sense:
- If the smell, colour or texture of the product has changed, it generally means that the product is no longer tenable. In that case it is best to throw the product away.
- If a product suddenly gives rise to complaints when this was not previously the case, then this may have to do with its shelf life. If you have had the product for a long time and can't even remember when you bought/got it, take a good look at the colour, smell and structure of the product before you use it. If you are unsure whether the product will last, don't use it.
- Products that are liquid and are in a sealed container where an applicator or fingers can come into contact with the product (creams, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss) are extra vulnerable to deterioration. The shelf life of such products is often limited (for this reason, most mascara can only be kept for 6 months) so be extra critical with these types of products. The eyes are particularly sensitive to bacteria, so always keep a close eye on the structure, colour and smell of such products!