Why You Shouldn’t Use Expired Face Wash Benzoyl Peroxide

If you’ve had a prolonged period of time during which your acne has stayed nice and calm, you could be forgiven for skipping the use of face wash benzoyl peroxide until it comes back. Obviously, the best thing to do is to keep using it to manage the situation, but often that’s not needed. 

The question is, should you need to start using it again, does it matter if it’s out of date? You see, it might well have expired if you haven’t used it in a while. Spoiler alert: it does matter, and there’s a good reason for that. Here we’re going to lay it all out for you. 

What Happens When Using Expired Face Wash Benzoyl Peroxide?

So, what does happen if you use an expired BP wash? Do you suddenly break out in hives and blisters? In truth using BP wash past its sell-by-date won’t damage your skin any more than overusing it normally. The side-effects you’ll find stated online include things like:

  • Peeling, irritation and redness
  • Skin yellowing or other discoloration
  • Dryness, accompanied by itchiness

These are commonly associated with using BP wash that’s too strong for you – and there’s the rub. When you can’t be sure about the potency of your BP rub (because it’s expired), you risk applying something that’s going to cause more harm than good. It’s an acid, so you don’t want to take any chances. 

So, How Long Does BP Wash Last?

The shelf life of face wash benzoyl peroxide before it’s been opened is a really long time – around 3 years to be exact. However, it’s been opened, used and left, that time drops down to about 6 months. As such, if you open a bottle of the stuff in January, you should be ok using it in July. 

Usually, products like these come in airtight containers, so you’re good. Within these timeframes, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. The product may separate a little, but if it looks like it should do after a little shake, you should be good to go. That said if it doesn’t look right or it’s turned a funny color – the best advice is to buy a new bottle and throw the old one out. 

Also, consider doing so if the packaging has become damaged, as it’s not likely to be airtight anymore once its integrity has been compromised.

Just Don’t Use Expired Face Wash Benzoyl Peroxide

A good rule of thumb is to only ever use cosmetics and acne control products that are either in date or still in good condition. Expiry dates are just a guide, so if it’s not been too long and your BP wash looks ok, then you should be fine. However, they do exist for a reason – to protect the user. 

So, if you find yourself staring at your BP wash and it looks like it has seen better days, please just consign it to the trash can. Your skin is important, and you can’t risk it using products that you just can’t vouch for. 

If you want to be sure though, just don’t use it if it’s expired. A new tube won’t break the bank, but it will ensure your acne stays under control. And that’s the key point – as your skin is the most important element here. 

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