Does Body Scrub Expire? [And How To Tell If Yours Has!]

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Sometimes you’re guilty of pushing that body scrub to the back of the shelf or cabinet. Or, maybe you’re just worried about not being able to use it before it expires. So that poses the question, does body scrub expire? Well, we’ve researched in-depth whether it does expire and how to tell if it has, and we have an answer for you.

Body scrub can expire. However, if it looks and smells normal, it’s likely fine to use. You can tell if it’s expired if the scrub has changed color, consistency, or smell. If you notice that the scrub has thickened, thinned, or smells rancid, you should throw it away. Mold is also a sure sign that your scrub has gone bad. 

Now you know that body scrubs can expire, but keep reading as we elaborate on this and talk about what can cause them to expire. We’ll also discuss how long body scrubs are good for and whether it’s okay to use an expired body scrub.

Woman cleans skin of the body with coffee scrub in bathroom, Does Body Scrub Expire? [And How To Tell If Yours Has!]

What Causes Body Scrub To Expire?

Woman's hands massaging natural homemade coffee scrub with coconut oil on white table next to ingredients

You may be surprised to know that almost all toiletries and skincare products expire. Some are more likely to expire quicker than others, and it really comes down to their ingredients. Body scrubs are no different. A body scrub can expire for a number of reasons, but those that do not contain preservatives have a shorter shelf life.

The two main culprits that cause body scrub to expire are moisture and bacteria getting inside your body scrub’s container. We’ll discuss each of these issues below and how you can prevent them from happening.

Moisture

Try to keep your body scrub container away from the direct water flow to reduce the risk of moisture getting inside. To really reduce the risk of water getting inside your container, scoop some out beforehand into a separate bowl to take to the sink or shower with you. Moisture can also get into your container in the form of humidity. To prolong the shelf life of your body scrub, consider storing it outside of your bathroom when you’re not using it.

Bacteria

If the body scrub is exposed to moisture, humidity, or heat, it can cause bacteria to grow or the scrub’s consistency to change. Using a spoon to scoop your body scrub out beforehand limits the risk of bacteria passing from your hands into the scrub. Bacteria leads to mold, so if you notice any signs of mold growth, throw your body scrub away.

Mold can occur at any time. Anything that includes fresh ingredients can grow mold. So, even though your scrub might not be past its shelf life, mold can cause it to expire sooner.

Keep this in mind and follow any storage directions on the container. If the container doesn’t have any storage instructions, a good rule of thumb is to choose a cool, dry, dark place to store it. That way, you can avoid exposure to heat, moisture, and light. All things that can shorten the life of your body scrub.

How Long Are Body Scrubs Good For?

So, we’ve told you that body scrubs can expire, but how long do you have before you need to toss it in the trash? If there isn’t an expiration date on the container, a body scrub’s typical life is about two years.

If you bought your body scrub from a store, look for a small symbol of an open container with the number 6, 12, or 24 inside. This represents the number of months the product is good for. A scrub that’s not mass-produced will probably not have the symbol. Also, in the US, only certain products like sunscreen are required to have an expiration date, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see one on your body scrub container.

All-Natural Scrubs

A body scrub that is made of all-natural ingredients will not usually contain preservatives. Due to this, they usually expire at a faster rate. All-natural body scrubs will typically last around six months. Homemade body scrubs usually last less than six months.

Consistency Check

However, as we mentioned above, the body scrub is still probably good to use if it hasn’t changed color, consistency, or smell. By consistency, we mean if it hasn’t separated, thinned, or clumped together. Occasionally, the scrub is still good if the product has separated. Just mix it back together, and if it returns to its normal consistency, it’s likely fine to use.

If in doubt, throw it out! If you’re hesitant to use it at all, it’s probably a good sign that you shouldn’t. Head to the store and choose a fresh new scrub! There are lots of highly-rated affordable scrubs on the market!

Click here to see Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Body Scrub on Amazon.

Can You Use Expired Body Scrub?

It might be tempting to use a body scrub that is expired. After all, you spent money on it, and it’s not like you are putting it inside your body. However, the outside of our body is just as important as the inside, and your skin is sensitive.

Using an expired body scrub can lead to some dermatological problems. If the product has changed in appearance or odor in any way, do not use it. It could cause an acne breakout, a rash, or irritation to your skin.

Also, most beauty products begin to lose their effectiveness once they pass their expiration date. This means that it might not be able to do all the things it was meant to do. For example, expired sunscreen won’t protect you as well from the sun. With the risk of skin problems and the product possibly not working, you should cut your losses and throw expired products away.

Do Homemade Scrubs Go Bad?

Above view of homemade brown sugar scrub and ingredients

Many people choose to make their own homemade body scrubs. In doing so, you can control exactly what goes into your scrub. They typically contain at the least: sugar, an oil, and essential oil.

However, just like any other body scrub, these can go bad. Homemade scrubs will usually last between two to six months. As with store-bought scrubs, you should keep an eye out for any changes in consistency and odor.

Choosing an airtight and watertight container can help keep your homemade scrub from going bad at a faster rate. If you choose a package that isn’t airtight or watertight, your scrub will be susceptible to unwanted odors and moisture. Glass jars are a good option! If you choose to add fresh ingredients to your homemade scrub, like herbs, your homemade scrub will go bad quicker.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, the information we’ve provided about the shelf life of body scrubs has been helpful. Depending on the ingredients, they can last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Be diligent in how you store and use them to get the most life from them. Remember, though, if the product looks different at all from its original condition, throw it out and buy a new one!

Since we’re discussing a product you use in the shower, you might be interested in checking out one of our other blog posts on whether to choose a shower gel or body wash! Find it here: “Shower Gel Vs. Body Wash: Which Should You Choose?

Or if now you’re wondering when other bathroom body products expire, check out: “Does Shower Gel Expire? (Even When Unopened).”

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