If you take a look in your bathroom cabinet right now, there’s a good chance you’ll find a handful of stuff that’s expired.
Whether it’s some old medicine you got for your last infection or a sunscreen that you purchased on vacation a few years ago, people are notorious at hanging onto expired products and hoping that one day they’ll use them again.
Do beard products expire in the same way though, and what’s the harm in using something that has?
Just like any other cosmetic product, your beard oils, balms, and butters all have expiry dates that should be adhered to.
Not only will some of the ingredients turn rancid but they’ll also lose their desired effect, so it’ll be pointless bothering to lather them onto your beard and the skin underneath.
This simple guide will walk you through the most common beard products and how long you can hang onto them, as well as the ingredients in them that have strict expiry dates.
It’s time to get real about clearing out your bathroom cabinet, and that includes your grooming tools, so take note and learn a thing or two about your favorite beard products.
Does Beard Oil Expire?
It’s not uncommon for men to ask the question “How long does beard oil last“?
Beard oil is a commonly used grooming product for facial hair that generally consists of a blend of carrier oils and essential oils.
The beard oil is applied to the hair and the skin underneath and although they can have a range of uses, the most prominent one is to hydrate the hair.
As far as the oils are concerned, there are expiry dates that must be adhered to. If you purchase a beard oil and note that it has an expiry date listed, pay close attention, but otherwise, you can follow these general guidelines for their specific ingredients.
- Jojoba oil: 5 years
- Coconut oil: 2 years
- Grapeseed oil: 6 months
- Lavender oil: 6 years
- Tea tree oil: 3 years
- Cedarwood oil: 8 years
Although these ingredients won’t be harmful to your skin or hair, it’s not recommended to apply them after their expiration date.
Applying old beard oil will be totally ineffective and pointless, so you should always make sure you’re using products that are in good condition and within their use-by date.
Does Beard Balm Expire?
Learning how often to use beard balm is important. Beard balm is another popular product for facial hair usually made of ingredients like moisturizers and oils.
A beard balm is like a leave-in conditioner that’s applied to the beard and left in for the day, adding hydration and making it easier to style.
The synthetic-based beard balms feature ingredients like alcohol that end up drying the hair and the skin underneath, but they will likely last longer in terms of shelf life.
To determine the shelf life of your beard balm, check the label, but if you’re unable to find any clear direction then look at the list of ingredients instead.
Here are some common beard balm ingredients and their recommended expiry dates for guidance.
- Beeswax: None
- Sweet almond oil: 2 years
- Shea butter: 2 years
- Jojoba oil: 5 years
- Argan oil: 1 year
- Vitamin E oil: 3 years
Does Beard Butter Expire?
Many men ask the questions “What does beard butter do”?
Beard butter is used for facial hair and is a mixture between beard oil and beard balm. A beard butter is made with ingredients like shea butter or cocoa butter and is a thick, soft paste substance that is rubbed into the beard and skin.
These products are thicker than oil which is a liquid but smoother than balm which has a waxy feel, so their expiration date differs again.
They’re usually sold in a jar which can lead them to expire even sooner if they’re not stored correctly, so consider this when determining its usability.
All beard butters will come with a recommended expiration date and attempting to use them after this time, or when you notice they’ve gone bad, will be ineffective.
Check out these common ingredients found in beard butter to see how much shelf life they have.
- Shea butter: 2 years
- Cocoa butter: 5 years
- Sunflower oil: 1 year
- Papaya extract: 2 years
- Vitamin E: 2 years
- Sandalwood oil: 8 years
The Lowdown on Other Beard Products
Because the ingredients differ so much in beard products, it’s hard to give exact dates on when they might stop working.
The expiry dates on beard oils, balms, and butters range from six months to four years, depending on the ingredients and quality of manufacturing.
For other beard products, these are the general guidelines for when they expire, but the best approach as always is to read the label and follow its advice.
- Beard shampoo and conditioner: Shampoos and conditioners are among some of the longest lasting cosmetic products, so you can keep yours for up to three years before it stops working.
- Electric trimmers and razors: If an electric trimmer or razor is still functioning mechanically, you should be changing the blades or attachments every few months or as needed to keep them sharp.
- Beard brush: A beard brush will last a couple of years with regular everyday use. If you notice the bristles start to spread out or wear down, it’s time to replace it.
The key to keeping any cosmetic product as long as possible all comes down to how you store it and use it. Keep everything in a cool, dark place and out of direct sunlight and always put the lids back on tightly whenever you open it.
How to Tell If You Need to Throw It Out
Like all products, the expiration date on your beard products is to be used as a rough guide.
You might be able to tell that it’s time to throw it out well before the listed date tells you so, so use your judgment where necessary. Here are some tips for figuring out which beard products can stay and which can go.
- If you can see the balm or oil changing color, emitting a strange odor, drying out or separating, this is a good indication that it’s expired or parts have gone rancid.
- Opt for beard products that use droppers or pumps, but in cases where this isn’t possible like a beard butter, use a clean spatula or swab to apply it to your face so that bacteria aren’t transferred to the jar each day.
- Scan the jar for the period after opening (POA) date which looks like a small drawing of a jar. Follow the date explicitly if there’s one listed.
- Natural products might be better for your conscience but they can also expire sooner. If water is listed as the first ingredient there’s a chance it’ll have a shorter expiration date.
- If the product is stored in a jar and you notice that the lid is becoming hard to open, this could be a sign of an expired product. Clean the rim with hot water to get rid of the hardened product and see if that makes a difference.
Beard oil products will be completely useless if you’re attempting to use them after they’ve expired, and the same goes for any other grooming products.
If you’ve always wanted to know more about beard oils, balms and butters, we’ve answered some common questions that newcomers to facial hair products have.
How Often Do I Apply Beard Products?
The length and condition of your beard will have some say in how often you have to use beard oils, balms, and butters.
As a general rule though, a butter should be applied every few days, and oil and balm can be used every day as needed. Shampoos and beard washes should be used when cleaning is required, trying not to wash every day if possible.
Are Beards Unhygienic?
Beards have the potential to be unhygienic when not cared for, just like any other part of the body. To keep your beard clean, it should be washed every few days and treated with oils and balms that prevent bacteria and fungal growth.
Keeping your beard clean is as easy as keeping the hair on your head clean as long as you use common sense.
How Often Should I Trim My Beard?
Regardless of the length you’re aiming for, a beard should be trimmed every so often to promote healthy growth.
Once a week is ideal for men who want to maintain its current length and only need to keep it tidy, otherwise once a month if you’re trying to grow it longer.