Brits warned to check expiry date on beauty products after woman develops horror burns

Black woman putting on face lotion
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

Many of us don't give a second thought about the expiry dates of our favourite beauty products – but one expert has revealed why we should.

A viral TikTok video has shown what can happen if we use out-of-date chemicals on our skin. Beauty fan BeastEaster (@beasteaster) suffered horror burns after using an out-of-date lotion.

Despite knowing it had expired she applied it to her face, but she quickly washed it off when her skin started to burn. Unfortunately, it was too late to prevent damage as her cheeks soon became inflamed and blistered.

"I am in so much pain and physically can't even look at myself, I felt very defeated," she told her 20.3million followers. "After being in so much pain I finally agreed to go to the hospital four days after. I won't bring any attention to the brand because this was 1000% my fault and I still absolutely adore the brand.

"I just want to be a voice and let everyone know to routinely check all makeup and skincare product expiration dates."

The burn victim's post was quick to garner countless comments, with various users confused about when it is and isn't suitable to use out-of-date products. One person wrote: "I've seen so many of these videos and I still keep using my expired face masks," as another chimed in: "Brb gonna go throw out the three-year-old skin care I use once every few months."

But what actually happened to BeastEaster? According to Susie Ma, the CEO and founder of Tropic Skincare, this is likely an impact of harsh, gone-off chemicals - emphasising just how dangerous it can be to use any older skincare.

"The most obvious disadvantage of using expired skincare products is that they may not be as effective as fresh ones," she explained. "So, if you're using an expired face cream, you might not be getting the same hydration or anti-ageing benefits as you would from a fresh one.

"[But], expired face products can actually cause skin irritation, breakouts, and other problems like this TikTok user, and using expired facial products results in a less effective routine that can further lead to long-term skin issues."

Susie recommends doing a routine product check every month to avoid getting into a similarly painful situation. While package expiry dates aren't always obvious, there should be a 'period after opening' symbol somewhere on the label.

This looks like a jar with a number and an 'M' inside, with the symbol indicating just how long a product can be used for after it's been opened. Usually, this ranges between six and 24 months.

If the product doesn't appear to have this, check the ingredient list for a 'use by' or 'expiration date'. Susie continued: "This can be confusing, as you may not know when you originally opened the product, so when you introduce something new to your skincare regime you should make a note of the month you started using the product."

Paying attention to the smell, texture and overall appearance of a product can also help you steer clear of a skincare disaster. Any changes could indicate that ingredients are separating or going off, so it may be time to buy a new bottle.

Susie also added: "The storage of skincare products can also impact the quality of them. They should be stored in a cool, dark space (like a bathroom cabinet, not a shelf), especially actives like vitamin C, which are at risk of oxidation when exposed to sunlight.

"This is also why actives like vitamin C should be housed in dark glass bottles, which is what we’ve done with our Tropic Skincare products."