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Do Clay Face Masks Expire?

by | Last updated Jun 23, 2020 | Published on Apr 19, 2020 | FAQ | 0 comments

There is definitely an expiration date on all kinds of makeup and skincare. I say that hypocritically sitting on a large stash of old products that have obviously expired long ago.

For someone like me, it’s the hardest thing in the world. To let go of an unfinished bottle of skincare, it crushes my heart.

I paid for it, I deserve to use every last bit! Don’t I?

Not so fast, it can cause more harm than good.

So here’s what you need to know about clay face mask expiration dates.  And how to store clay so that you can avoid unhealthy bacteria from infecting your favorite mask.

At a Glance

Do face masks expire?

Any makeup or skincare is prone to expiry. Especially any product which contains moisture will not last you a long time. Because germs and fungus love wet and damp places. So yes, face masks expire just like other skincare products.

Do dry powder skincare products expire

Dry products like eyeshadows or powdered clay masks will last much longer. Bacteria and mold usually doesn’t grow without water. It is important to keep them away from moisture for this reason. That’s why you should store your dry clay in a cool, dry place.

Do clay face masks expire?

Dry clay does not contain any preservative. Keep your dry clay in a sealed container and in a cool, dry place. Expiry dates are set to ensure that bacteria is not present in your clay. Once it’s wet it needs to be kept in a fridge to maintain its freshness. It is also a good idea to keep it in an air tight container and can last for up to 3 days.

What does expiry means for makeup or skincare? When you research deeper, you realize it’s not the same as it is for prescription drugs.

For many products the expiration date specifies the time after which the product “might” go bad.

Sometimes the active ingredients lose their effectiveness over time and stop performing that well. In this case, it might not be dangerous to use that product. But it will not work as good as before.

According to Dr. Diana Howard, Vice president of research and development for Dermalogica:

“If a sunscreen expires, there is a chance it is still good for another year. But just like prescription drugs, a pharmacist would tell you to toss them. Once you reach that date there is no guarantee that the level of activity is still present. The only way to truly know whether your product is still guaranteed effective for its intended use is to test it in a lab.”

Do Clay Face Masks Expire? 1

What is shelf life and what does it depend on?

Shelf life is the duration of time a product can be stored for without going bad.
This time period depends upon a number of factors. These include:

  • Light exposure
  • Heat
  • Moisture level
  • Contamination with microbes
  • Preservatives

Also, contact of the product with outside environment plays a role in determining its lifespan. This is why most products have a little symbol of an open container on the bottom. It has a number written inside of it. This specifies the window of use after the product has been opened.

Shelf life of an unopened unused product is longer than after it’s been opened.

An expired product losses its effectiveness. It is also possible that the denatured ingredients might cause harm to your skin. Its better in most cases to follow the label and toss it after the duration is over. As hurtful as it might be.

You’re doing your skin a favor in the long term.

Wet VS Dry Products

What is “dry” clay?

Essentially it’s clay in a dried, milled and powder format.  It’s the easiest and most natural way to buy clay.

facial clay mask assortment pack

What do we mean by a “wet” product?

Essentially any product that has a liquid or oil.

That huge tub of your favorite moisturizer that you hope will outlive you, won’t.

Wet, moist environments of any kind are a breeding ground for germs. Micro-organisms such as bacteria thrive and multiplies in such damp places.

Especially with a continuous source of contamination aka your fingers.

Same goes for makeup. Foundation, concealer and mascaras will expire at a faster rate. In contrast dry products provide unfavorable environment for micro colonization.

According to makeup artist Austin Evans, “the more wet a product is, the easier it will facilitate bacteria growth. Your eyeshadows on the other hand, can stick around for quite a while”.

This is also the reason wet products require preservatives. They improve the stability of the active ingredients and increase their shelf life. They also help fight the growth of bacteria and mold in these products.

Do Clay Masks go bad?

There are different types of clays mined from all over the world, and benefits are pretty impressive.  But if you have a tub of this in your arsenol, do they go bad?

A dry powdered clay in its pure form does not require any preservatives to maintain its shelf life.

Since it is free of moisture, it does not harbor bacteria or mold like other skincare products do.

If you buy a hydrated, preformed clay mask. It needs a preservatives to maintain it’s shelf life.

Think, liquids = is prone to going bad.

This is the advantage of buying dry clay. You only mix and “activate” the amount you require for one use. The rest of the product in your container remains safe and fresh.

This is why clay masks can last so much longer the other skincare masks. You don’t have to worry about them expiring any time soon.

Pro tip: always use a spoon to get your clay from it’s container.  Your fingers might have bacteria, so keep your fingers out.

How do you store a DIY clay mask?

A dry powdered clay needs to be activated when used. This can be done by adding water, apple cider vinegar or any other liquid medium.

Try: bentonite and apple cider vinegar mask.

When the clay comes in contact with water, it expands and forms a paste. You can add a number of different ingredients at this point. Or just choose one of our face mask recipes.

But what do you do of the leftover paste you have after you’re done applying?

This always happen with me. When you apply your mask, you don’t really need to pile up a lot of product on your face. This is why some of it is always left in my bowl.

At this point you can do two different things;

  1. Take an air tight zip lock bag. Pour all your leftover product inside.
  2. Leave the product in the bowl you used to mix it. Cover the bowl tightly with food wrap. This will prevent air from coming in contact with the mask.

Place either of these in the fridge.

The DIY mask can be store in the fridge for around 3 days. Whenever you want to reuse it. Just take it out, give it a good stir and enjoy.

This way you won’t be wasting any product at all.

Reading labels is always a good habit. It helps you better understand what you’re using on your face and when to toss it. But buying a clay mask in dry form releases you from all these worries.

You can make the mask fresh every time very easily. Or store it in the fridge to prevent wasting. The ease and versatility of use is the reason clay masks make their place in our skincare routine.


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