How Long Does Face Wash Last?

Chances are, you've probably used a face wash and wondered if it has expired and if it's even cleansing your skin. Depending on what brand you use for your face wash, a bottle can be pretty expensive. Are your favorite facial cleansers growing old before you even finish using them? You've made it to the right post because we have done our research and have so much to share with you about the expiry for face wash and skincare products.

The average eight-ounce face wash should last you around two months, considering you are using it twice daily. Facial cleansers come in various sizes, so this timeframe can change according to the product. The ingredients in most facial cleansers will start to expire after six months once opened and about a year if left unopened, so it is essential to finish one product before beginning another. With that being said, an expired face wash will not destroy your beautiful skin but may end up doing a poor job at cleaning it. 

As we dive into this post, we will be covering all things face wash and recommend some super helpful products. Finding the perfect face wash and then realizing it's expired before you even got to finish it has to be one of the most annoying things ever, and we are here to help you avoid that. Now with all that being said, let's figure this out.

A woman washing her face with face wash, How Long Does Face Wash Last?

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Signs That Your Face Wash Is Expired

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The first red flag you need to be looking for is a change in the face wash scent and texture. For example, if your cleanser is a tea tree-infused foaming wash and it no longer smells like the essential oil and isn't foaming, it has expired. We recommend doing a patch test on your wrist or simply lathering your product in your hands to check if it is safe to use on your face. Worst case scenario, toss out the expired wash and repurchase it for the sake of your skin.

To summarize the warning signs of an expired face cleanser, please refer to this bulleted list when checking your product:

  • The original scent is very light or completely gone.
  • The texture or consistency of your cleanser is watery and feels different than described.
  • After doing a patch test, your hands or wrist become irritated or are left feeling oily.

Is It Bad To Use Expired Face Wash?

When considering using an expired face wash, think of what you would do if it were food. Nobody will voluntarily eat or drink something they know will make them sick, and that is the same energy we must have when deciding on our facial cleansers. If you can feel and smell a significant change in your cleanser's quality, toss it in the bin. Not all face washes expire the same way, so it does come down to an ingredient-based assessment.

What Else Can You Do With Expired Face Wash?

A liquid sofa bottle placed on top of a towel

For those of you who don't feel comfortable throwing your expired face wash away, we understand. Surprisingly, there are some pretty neat ways to still use your cleanser, just not on your face. We have compiled a shortlist of resourceful ways you can reuse an expired face wash below:

  • Wash delicate items of clothing.
  • Clean and polish jewelry.
  • Use your face wash as a makeup brush cleaner.

These are just a few fun ways to use an expired face wash without damaging your skin or feeling like you have wasted product. In times like these, it does feel important to be thoughtful and resourceful with the things we have.

How Long Do Skincare Products Last?

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Although every product will age differently, you can expect your skincare to last you about a year once opened, depending on the ingredients. All-natural skincare products have a much shorter shelf life than those with added preservatives like parabens, which is a significant takeaway. This may not be a problem if your all-organic face wash is something you know you will finish in two to four months versus a cleanser with preservatives. Every product is different and will react differently once exposed to the elements, so it is essential to keep an eye on labels.

Soaps And Cleansers

You can expect your face soap to last you roughly one year once you have opened the bottle. Organic face soaps are going to be about a third of this timeframe at three to four months. Always check the ingredients in your face cleanser and the manufacturer's expiration date that is usually stamped on the product.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Here we have a foaming face soap from the brand CeraVe that is guaranteed to last up to three years if unopened. This is a value-sized bottle at 19 ounces, so this should be lasting anywhere from four to six months. View this wash here on Amazon.


A typical moisturizer will last you about a year or more, depending on how well it is stored and what preservatives are inside. A good rule of thumb for checking an expired moisturizer is to look at the product's color and see if there is any yellowing. Moisturizer will also have a sour scent once it's expired, so smelling your product is a good idea.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Moisturizer

Here we have a moisturizer from Neutrogena that will last you around a year if left unopened. This product is on the smaller side, ounce-wise at 1.7, so it should last you about one to two months of use. Follow this link to Amazon to check it out.


Coming in at one of the longer-lasting skincare products, we have sunscreen. A standard sunscreen will last you about two years if kept in a cooler environment. The signs of expired sunscreen are very similar to moisturizers and include yellowing and a funky smell.

CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen With SPF 30

Here we have a hydrating sunscreen from CeraVe that will also last up to three years unopened. This sunscreen includes a sheer tint and measures out to 1.7 fluid ounces, so expect it to last the summer. View this product on Amazon here.


A serum will last you around a year after it has been opened and is one of the harder-to-tell options. Most serums are made with vitamins and essential oils, so the expiration process takes longer than other skincare products. Your serum may not develop a funky smell or texture but will lose its potency.

L'Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Face Serum

Here we have a face serum from L'Oreal, a hyaluronic-infused option that promises to last you around a year unopened. This face serum promises to plump, hydrate, and improve the skin's quality and measures out to one ounce. Follow this link to Amazon to check it out.

Why Do Organic Face Products Expire Faster?

Those reading who are devastated that their organic face wash has a much shorter life span than other options, we get it. The ingredients in all-natural face products don't have the same anti-expiring properties but are, in the long term, better for your skin. Parabens and other preservatives found in many skincare brands can irritate and, in severe cases, cause cancer. Choosing to go with a safe product for you and the environment is the better option in this decision and will make the quicker expiration feel much less critical.

Ktchn Apothecary Hydrating Natural Organic Face Wash

Here we found a natural face wash with organic ingredients from the Ktchn Apothecary Shop to give you a refreshed feeling. This four-ounce natural face wash should last you around two months and should be stored in a cool temperature environment. Follow this link to Amazon to see the complete list of ingredients.

Dr. Organic Purifying Face Wash With Tea Tree Oil

Another organic face wash we found is from the Dr. Organic Store and is infused with tea tree oil. This all-natural wash is 4.2 ounces and should be used within six months of purchasing. Check out all of its ingredients on Amazon by clicking here.

The Wrap Up

Although we wish our favorite face washes and products lasted forever, they do not. Your typical face wash will begin expiring at around six months after opening, and that timeline can change dramatically depending on its ingredients. Organic and preservative-free products have a shelf life of approximately 4-6 months after being opened, so do keep that in mind. No matter the product or type of skincare you are using, make sure to research its ingredients and check if it has an expiration.

Want to check out even more awesome skincare-related posts? Click the links below!

10 Best Night Creams With Hyaluronic Serum

Do You Use Body Scrub Before Or After Soap?

Shower Gel Vs. Body Wash: Which Should You Choose?

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