When you spend money on a luxurious, effective skincare routine, it can be hard to imagine parting ways with your products before you’re absolutely certain that they are empty. Unfortunately, finishing every drop of your products may not always be a good idea—and can actually be bad for your skin. Buried somewhere on the back or bottom of your skincare bottle is a little open jar icon with a number inside of it (see below.) That number represents the months you can use the product after opening it. For example, if you start a fresh pot of moisturizer in June of 2020 and the icon says 12M, you definitely want to throw out that pot in June 2021. Why does it matter? Many skincare products are formulated with active ingredients that can slowly de-stabilize over time. Vitamin C, for example, can be a very unstable ingredient, especially when it’s exposed to light or air for too long. Even the stable Vitamin C that’s in the Firma-Bright 20% Vitamin C booster is only meant to be used for up to 6 months before it will start to lose effectiveness. Many vitamin C related products recommend only 3 months of use! The second issue is that expired ingredients can cause harm to your skin, even exacerbating the skin concerns they were once designed to solve. Skincare companies like to include naturally sourced ingredients because they can be extremely effective in treating a whole spectrum of skin concerns. At HydroPeptide, we refrain from putting harmful preservatives in our products, so those natural ingredients don’t have the harmful (yet effective) preservatives to prevent them from degrading. A few ways to tell if your product needs to be replaced: The texture or smell is different than it was when you opened it You can’t remember when you first started using the product (within give or take a few months) The expiration date has passed* *Not all products will have an expiration date, but many HydroPeptide products do! How Airless Technology Can Help Many HydroPeptide products use an “airless” system that prevents exposure to light, air and bacteria. Products like LumaPro-C, Power Serum and Face Lift all use this technology to preserve their ingredients for as long as possible. We recommend stocking up on products like these to extend the use of your skincare products to 12 months. Shop airless products here. A good way to keep your skincare products fresh, and therefore effective, is to pare down your routine to just the products you use consistently. If you’ve amassed a collection of products you never use, it’s hard to keep track of when they were first opened! It’s also a good rule of thumb to store your products in a cool, dark place, and to wash your hands thoroughly before dipping your fingers into a pot or jar of cream.