Ever wondered why most of your deodorants don't have an expiry date? Or when it does have one, it feels the same even after expiry. The question is, can deodorants expire?
Most personal care products like lotions, shampoos, and in some cases, cosmetics, have expiration dates and you can clearly see from how they look that you shouldn’t use them anymore.
Deodorants on the other hand feel and look the same even after expiry and you might not even notice that much of a difference if you don’t pay attention. In short, deodorants do expire.
But before you panic about using your expired deodorant, hear me out. The thing with deodorants is, although they do expire, they won’t actually cause you harm, rather, it simply becomes less effective.
Let’s dive into it a little.
Why Don’t Deodorants Have Expiration Dates?
The main reason why most deodorants don’t have expiry dates is that they’re classified as cosmetics and these typically aren’t required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have an expiration date.
This isn’t to be confused with antiperspirants, however, because antiperspirants do expire and the difference is that these contain aluminum salts which help reduce sweat production, according to WebMD. This means they contain more active ingredients than deodorants and they stay effective longer.
According to Saeidnia, an expert on toxicology, the presence of aluminum salts means antiperspirants affect your body’s structure or function, specifically perspiration. As such, it’s required by the FDA for these to carry expiration dates although they age like a deodorant.
In short, antiperspirants work differently according to Weatherspoon, an expert on healthcare. They just reduce sweat.
How to extend the shelf life of a deodorant?
Much like other personal care products, storing your deodorants properly will help you extend their lifespan.
First and foremost, try to keep your deodorant stored in a cool dry place. Take special note of this when you carry it with you, possibly in your bag or luggage. As much as possible, avoid placing it under heat over 25°C because this will melt your deodorant.
Finally, when using your deodorant, make sure the area you’re applying it on is dry or cooled off. Especially after a workout when you’re drenched in sweat, your sweat can get on the deodorant and make it lose its effectiveness faster.
But, how long do deodorants last?
It’s good to note that different types of deodorants have different shelf lives. Spray deodorants generally take longer than stick deodorants since stick deodorants tend to dry out faster due to exposure. According to the FDA, different components affect each product’s shelf life.
Spray Deodorants and Spray-on Antiperspirants generally last from 1 to 3 years and this is one of the longest-lasting deodorants in terms of shelf life. The reason being the contents of the deodorant is sealed inside a can as opposed to a deodorant stick which is exposed a lot.
Roll-on Deodorants typically last up to 2 years if stored properly. The reason for its shorter shelf life is the exposure to air causing the liquid deodorant around the roller ball to become stuck. As long as it is properly sealed every use, you can make it last for 2 years.
Stick Deodorants typically last 3 to 6 months on average since they’re the most exposed when opened. In some cases, they may last more than 6 months but they tend to dry out at around that time frame.
Natural Deodorants, both spray and stick, tend to expire faster because of the lack of preservatives and the fact that it uses more natural salts and oils which usually lose their effectiveness faster than the typical deodorant. Sprays usually last about 18 months and sticks last even shorter than their counterpart.
Can I still use expired deodorant?
Can you use expired deodorant? Deodorants typically control body odor by killing odor-causing bacteria on your skin. The active ingredients in them can break down and lose effectiveness over time which is what’s causing deodorants to become less effective.
In some cases, expired deodorants may also develop an unpleasant odor or texture while others, although rare, may get rashes because of the ingredients breaking down in the deodorant causing skin irritation. In such cases, just replace the deodorant.
It’s also important, especially when using an expired deodorant that you make sure your underarm skin isn’t negatively affected. It’s good practice to do regular cleansing and exfoliating on your underarms not just to get rid of underlying bacteria but also to clean off excess deodorant that may stay.
Usually, body wash is enough to clean off the dirt but for those with super sensitive skin, using a facial cleanser would help them avoid skin irritation on their underarms.
I personally use Mantisfy Facial Cleanser and Shaving Mousse to start my morning and night routine. Facial cleansers tend to be more gentle on the skin and are perfect for my sensitive skin. It also uses high-quality Edelweiss which, not only balances the oil on your skin but also has antibacterial properties that can help reduce bacterial growth on your skin.
When should you stop using your deodorant?
If your deodorant doesn’t have an expiry date, how do you know you should stop using it? You can check the manufacturing date. Deodorants typically last for 2 to 3 years so you get the idea. If it’s more than 2 to 3 years old, just replace it.
You can refer to the list above to check which specific type of deodorant you’re using and how long it should last.
The bottom line
Does deodorant expire? Yes.
Deodorants expire but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them anymore; that also doesn’t mean you should. It’s always better to replace an expired deodorant just to be sure your skin is safe. A little skincare routine also doesn’t hurt your skin whether it be your face or your underarms.