Throw Your Face Mask Away Immediately If You Notice This

Ask any beauty lover about skincare and they'll tell you that it's the more the merrier. Heck, just about everyone loves doing a good face mask. It makes you truly feel like you have your life together. But there's one thing to look at before you put your face mask back into the drawer — the expiration date. It turns out that there's a sweet spot when it comes to how long your face masks last, and if it's past its prime, you're going to want to throw it away.

There are so many different skin care items out there, but masks are definitely some of the best in the game. That means that there are likely multiple in your skincare line-up. Unfortunately, that means that they also the ones that could be expired. Especially because they're not used every single day. While there's no surefire way to know that your masks are expired just by looking at them, that makes the expiration date even more important.

Here's everything you need to know about purging your skincare products, so you're not using masks that are no longer effective. 

Masks only last six months to a year after opened

It's pretty darn easy to see when your moisturizer has changed colors or your lotion gets a little too crusty, but it's not so easy to see in masks. According to Allure, skincare items like moisturizer can even grow mold, which doesn't tend to happen with masks. When it comes to knowing your masks are expired, you'll need to check the expiration date. 

According to Oprah, cream and gel face masks can last up to one year if they've been opened. Those are typically the moisturizing and refreshing masks. The publication also states that if the mask is unopened, it can sit pretty on your shelf for two to three years and still work just as well.

Unfortunately, it's not the same for clay masks. While the clay masks have the same unopened shelf life of a cream or gel mask, things change when the product is opened. Once you open the clay mask, it's only good for six months (via Oprah). That means that you might want to put this one into your weekly rotation, so you can make the most of it. 

Skincare expiration has a specific icon

Now that you're up to date on how long your face masks last, it's time to look a little closer at the product label. You don't just have to rely on your memory to know if your product is expired or not. There's a very specific label you'll find with the date on it, and according to Byrdie.

"The shelf life and expiration date aren't the same thing — the clock starts ticking on the expiration date of your product the moment you open it," the publication says. "Look for the PAO — or period after opening — label. The symbol looks like an open jar. It indicates the shelf life of the product once it's been opened, which is typically between six months to one year." 

Of course, you could easily mark on the bottom of the product the date that you opened it. That way, you know exactly how long your products are staying fresh for. It's time to take a closer look at those bottles, my friends. If nothing else, it's a great excuse to stock up!