This TikTok expiry hack shows you how to check use-by dates on all your fave beauty products

This TikTok expiry date hack shows you where to find the use-by date on all your makeup and skincare faves...

Glass bottles for cosmetic products with pipette, on beige and pink background.
(Image credit: Getty Images / Tanja Ivanova)

TikTok is proving itself to not just be the best place to find beauty hacks and beauty recommendations—like the e.l.f halo glow filter—but also to be a treasure of knowledge. For instance, did you know that your beauty products actually have expiry dates on them? We don't blame you if you didn't, because they're not actually easy to spot—until now that is,  thanks to this viral expiry hack.

The pain of tossing away your best eyeshadow palettes and ride-or-die non-comedogenic foundations is real, especially when there's still some product left in them—but sadly, despite their use-by dates not being clear, they don't last forever. Plus in world with the dewy, fresh-face 'clean-girl aesthetic'—you can't be out here risking your skin's glow.

Thankfully, now we can easily check our products for their looming expirations, all thanks to TikTok...

 TikTok's expiry date hack

User @canonryder flagged the handy tool for checking the shelf life of beauty products after discovering that a certain Olay moisturizer from 2011, was still on the shop shelf—yikes.

That might not *feel* like that long ago—but for makeup and skincare (many of which products contain active ingredients) that IS a long time.

@canonryder (opens in new tab)

Always check cosmetic products!!! #fyp #beauty #makeup #skincare

♬ original sound - Canon Ryder (opens in new tab)

To check the expiry date, supposedly all you need to do is go to a site called 'Cosmetic Calculator' (shown in the video above), select the brand and then enter the 'batch' number. 

By entering both the batch code (usually found on the bottom of an item) and the brand, not only can the tool show you when the product was first manufactured, but also how long it's safe to use from that point onwards. In the unfortunate case of the Olay moisturizer, that timeframe was three years, making it way out of date.

Of course, it's pretty rare for old cosmetics products to slip through the net and many products now have a marked expiry date on the tube or bottle. But there's definitely no harm in double-checking next time you're scouting out a bargain.

Brb, off to check my entire bathroom cabinet... 

Lucy is a beauty journalist who has written for titles including Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, woman&home and Women's Health, as well as regularly contributing to My Imperfect Life. Her work covers everything from skin and haircare tips to trying and testing the latest beauty launches, and interviewing celebrities and experts. A certified dog person, her other interests include mental wellbeing, books, piña coladas and not getting caught in the rain. 

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