What to do with expired body lotion?

Have you ever considered what happens to our body lotion after its expiration dates? Do they even work? Many people ask what to do with expired body lotion. Without even realizing it, we stockpile a plethora of lotions. There is no surety of the safety of an expired body lotion. This article will give a detailed view of expired body lotions and what to do with them.

Does lotion expire?

Lotion, like all other skin care products, eventually expires. The number of months following the “time after opening” date on most bottles, followed by an M, says how long you should use the product before throwing it away. This estimate for lotion can be anything from 12 to 24 months.

However, use-by dates might vary from product to product, so always check the label. Lightweight lotions, for instance, typically rely on water as a foundation to obtain a thinner consistency, yet, water is a known bacterial breeding habitat. Most commercial products on the market have a shorter shelf life even though they contain approved preservatives to make the recipe shelf-stable.

What about lotions that contain oil? The absence of water makes them less susceptible to bacterial growth, so they last a little longer. For activity, it could introduce water into the formula, so it’s essential to watch for any deterioration.

Can you use expired lotion?

There is little risk in using lotion after its expiration date has passed. Lotion stored in a jar  may become a breeding ground for bacteria. Although using a lotion that has passed its expiration date is unlikely to cause any harm, it won’t help. If your lotion’s active ingredients don’t absorb well, you may experience reduced hydration and other disadvantages.

Toss out the old lotion and replace it with a brand-new one. In this method, you won’t have to take a chance on the results; you’ll know for sure. Even if there are no outward symptoms of wear and tear, you shouldn’t risk using a damaged product because it may trigger skin problems or breakouts in some people. Second, if there are active substances (such as antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and ceramide), it could also not work.

Dr. Steve Wang, a board-certified dermatologist,  Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare, explained that there are two aspects to a product’s shelf life. You can consider the rancidity issue, but “you can even go beyond and think about the functional shelf life of active substances.” A solution’s effectiveness declines over time, so even if it doesn’t smell foul or cause irritation, it’s not doing your skin any favors if it’s beyond its prime.

How to Tell If Body Lotion Is Expired

If your lotion shows any of these indicators before the expiration date, you may spoil it.

Smell: If the product has a strange odor as you squish it out, whether it’s sour, rotten, or just off, toss it. When microorganisms contaminate a recipe, the result is often a foul odor.

Texture: However, water-based lotions separate with time. Over time, the emulsifiers in your formula may break down, leaving you with a watery, sedimentary mixture.

Color: Skin care products left out in the open are more likely to oxidize and change color (yellow, orange, or brown) after some time. It may be time to get a new lotion if you see a color you haven’t seen before when you apply it.

What to do with old lotions?

Several environmentally beneficial options exist for getting rid of or recycling empty lotion bottles.

Make it a scrub

You can make a fantastic, cost-effective body scrub out of old lotion. Scrubs for the body typically have a moisturizing and exfoliating component, leaving the skin feeling fresh and soft. The Bohemian Revolution recommended combining one cup of lotion and one tablespoon of exfoliant. Ground muesli, ground walnuts, coarse salt, sugar, or cornmeal are all great possibilities for exfoliation.

Prepare a Relaxing Bath

Create a luxurious bath soak by combining 1 tablespoon of lotion and 1 tablespoon of essential oil. Essential oils such as lavender, vanilla, and sage are all good choices because they help the skin.

Just Give It Out

It would be wasteful to dispose of a bottle of lotion simply because you no longer find it appealing. Don’t keep it for yourself; just dispose of it—a more sustainable approach to trying new cosmetics.

Use the Bottle Again

Lotion bottles, commonly composed of #2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene), are recyclable in many locations. If you want to recycle this kind of plastic, you need to call the recycling center in your area to be sure they take it.

What to do with old lotion bottles?

Containers for plants and cosmetics or pens

You should gather your nail clippers and lotion containers. You should use one of those fancy scissors to embellish the lotion containers. Considering its intended usage as a repository for writing implements, we recommend sprucing it up in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

You might paint it in bright, contrasting, visually appealing hues. Remove four or five inches of the Lotion bottle’s base to make a cup. We can store makeup brushes and eyeliner pencils of the same shape in the same space. A child could use this method to create a pencil cup as a gift for a teacher.

You can come up with a solution to the problem of losing your pencils if you need help keeping track of them. If your children have the same tendency to lose their pencils, there are ways to break the cycle.

Portable Electronics Charger Holder

This unique phone charger holder allows you to store your phone and charger together properly, preventing it from being dropped on the floor or left unattended in an unsafe location.

Use as an animal seed feeder.

These adorable lotion bottle bird feeders will attract a wide variety of birds to your backyard or patio. These bird feeders are simple to create and embellish and will look great in any room. Then, empty the bottle by removing the pump and tube from the top. We can hang the cap from a hook or tree limb by threading a string or thin rope through the hole and tying a knot under the rim to form a loop.

In the second step, you can make a bird feeder by cutting an oval-shaped hole in the front of the bottle, about two inches from the bottom. Color, then hang bird feeders filled with seeds.

A Pump for Water Balloons

You can use any lotion container with a pump.Inflate the balloon and check that its lip will fit over the pump’s end. You may need to remove a section of the pump to make room for the balloon in some pump bottles. The bottles need to be sterilized and then filled with water. The bottle may fill water balloons, which kids can then play with.

Marking Stakes for Labels

We can recycle lotion bottle plastic into a sturdy garden stake that will survive through any weather. We can draw a lengthy rectangle with a marker and then cut off. If you have a stake lengthwise, you can make one end point by slicing off a triangular. Then, you may attach it to the garden or potted plant you want to label by writing the plant’s name in sharpie.

Protection for your outdoor or indoor lights

Your tired old Christmas lights will appear brand new after you cover them with the tops of lotion bottles. All your outdoor events will be brighter with them. Once you’ve finished painting your collection of recycled lotion bottles, you can use one to clean your brushes.

Make a Spout Cover for Your Sink

If you have been struggling to get water to flow from your tap because it is too short, your troubles are over now. You may make it last longer if you use empty lotion containers. Instead of the tools required to fix a tap, scissors will suffice for this task.

 You can repurpose an old lotion bottle by simply removing the bottom. Ensure sure the finished product is the right size to fit the tap. Your cut can only be manageable if you want the lotion bottle to come free. It can then trim the lotion containers to fit into the sink’s spray spout. From there, water can flow to wherever it’s most valuable. Your kids won’t have any trouble finding clean drinking water.

 Construct a Container for the Bathroom Sink

To do this, you only need to gather empty lotion containers and scissors. And your imagination is something you should always bring along. After setting up these conditions, you may go to work. If you want smaller or larger lotion containers, cut them to fit. You don’t have to make a clean slash through it, though. The reason for doing so is to make room for a grip.

We can attach the sink caddy to the faucet using this knob.

It is optional to have any special skills to accomplish any of these. If you do what we’ve advised, you’ll have a brand-new sink caddy in no time.

Miniature Pouch

You’ll need to invest in a lotion bottle that can be folded up neatly first. Therefore, we won’t have to do the tasks of cutting and folding it into a pocket-sized separately.

You can make a cute little pocket with scissors, a snap, and some imagination.

The length of your purse or bag will determine where you will make your cuts on the lotion bottles. When you’re done cutting, take a measurement down about a meter. In this step, you’ll start folding it.

Ensure that you  has successfully folded the top back and forth to become flexible. Next, you must make a small incision in one of the most malleable sections at the top. It’s essential to keep in mind that you’re only making one cut. You’ll keep one and use the other as a spare pocket cover. After going through all these hoops, you can snap the final remaining movable flap. As a result, you can always have that little pocket securely closed.

Fashion a Cell Phone Cradle

All you need is a lotion bottle that can accommodate your phone after being sliced down the middle. Obtaining this material is the first step in creating a phone holder. To construct a washbasin, you must stick to the steps outlined above. But you might need adhesive for this. We can then glue the lotion bottle to the socket’s side. This will ensure that no liquid will accidentally enter the phone holder. The phone holder’s design is entirely up to you and your level of imagination.

What is the best way to dispose of expired beauty products?

  • Toss unused beauty products, such as lotions, potions, and oils, into the trash.
  • You should discard the lotion and the tube if they came in one package.
  • Throw away any remaining lotion that came in a bottle. We can then reuse the bottle after being cleansed.
  • Use the original packaging to throw away any unused essential oils.

How to Dispose of Expired Body Lotion

  • First, you should refrain from flushing liquids down the toilet or washbasin. Due to this, we may release toxic substances into the water supply. Use a wet paper towel to remove as much of the product as possible. Whether plastic or glass, throw it away in the proper recycling bin.
  • Throw away the entire bottle if you cannot use the bulk of the contents. Instead, you might take it to a recycling or waste disposal facility. Most will take cosmetics off your hands if you consider it hazardous trash, and they’ll even provide you a date on their website when you may bring it in.
  • If you need help locating a place to recycle things at home, look for a Terracycle bin and bring the items there. In a blog post about streamlining our home’s decor, I mentioned Terracycle. They are a fantastic organization.

Tips for Storing Body Lotion

Always remember to protect your lotion from direct sunshine.

Intense heat from the sun might hasten the breakdown of the skincare product’s formula. This reduces the effectiveness of the contents over time and, in the case of natural compounds, can hasten the spoilage of the product. Putting your lotion away is the most foolproof method of preserving them. This hidden cupboard is a godsend for those who share cramped NYC studio apartments.

Remember always to use a fresh seal while applying lotion.

Formulating chemicals like vitamin c, which can be unstable if you expose them to air for too long, requires great care to minimize air contact. Most Tracie Martyn items come in airtight pumps to prevent the formula from oxidizing and losing its efficacy too quickly. As an aside, we also include THD Ascorbate, a newer and more stable form of Vitamin C, in our formulations. Use clean hands or a spatula to remove the amount you need from a jar, then replace the lid tightly. A little disc in the Enzyme Exfoliant prevents air from getting in.

Keep your lotion at a cool room temperature.

Keep lotion at room temperature, away from draughts and direct sunlight. Temperature changes can affect the consistency of skincare products, especially those made with plant oils or butter.

Choose a proper place to store your lotion.

It’s tempting to keep your skin care products in the medicine cabinet, where they’ll be out of the way and out of sight, but doing so is not safe. The continual heat generated by a shower or bath may damage lotion. Condensation, more common in enclosed places, can also seep into skincare items if you don’t seal them correctly, fostering the growth of bacteria and mold.

How to Extend the Shelf Life of Body Lotion

While not in use, we should store the lotion at or slightly below room temperature. A cabinet is perfect since it can be dark, calm, and out of the way while we store the merchandise. In addition, any germs present can interact with the heat and grow. As with the lotion’s appearance and scent, the sun can alter the texture of the moisturizer. The container’s form is also an essential factor to think about. Products stored in jars or tubs don’t fare as well as those dispensed from tubes or pumps due to the constant exposure to potential pathogens.

If you can only find your lotion in a jar, you can reduce the chance of bacteria growth by using a clean cosmetic stick for each application. Use clean hands before sticking your fingers in the jar if there are no sticks.


In sum, topical moisturizers like body lotion do expire. Depending on the product type and its use, there may be some wiggle room in the particular time stamp. Lotion loses effectiveness and, in the worst case, can irritate beyond a particular expiration date. To go back on schedule, acquiring a replacement for the lotion is ideal.

Frequently asked questions:

How often should I use body lotion?

While daily application of body lotion is safe, you can use it whenever possible. The timing of your applications is more essential than how often you perform them. Applying body lotion on dry skin and possibly reapplying it every few hours is a typical mistake, but it doesn’t produce the best effects.

How long does body lotion last?

Lotion’s shelf life is unpredictable. The FDA does not recommend or mandate that manufacturers set expiration dates. Sunscreens, for example, have use-by dates printed on the bottle. This indicates that the sunscreen’s effectiveness may decrease after its expiration date, leaving you vulnerable to sunburn if you continue to use it.

Similarly, other lotions have expiration dates ranging from 12 to 24 months after opening, suggesting when to utilize the product. If you want to know when to throw out your lotion, write the date you opened it on the jar with a permanent marker.

Preservatives and other compounds have a finite shelf life, and their potency declines over time. After the preservatives in the product wear off, germs and mold can multiply. To a greater extent, this is true of jarred lotions, which are subjected to the elements every time you open them.

The FDA Trusted Source states that the shelf life of eye products is the shortest of any beauty product category. This is especially important if the product has a wand or built-in applicator that you use repeatedly or if it comes in a tube. We must replace any eye cream you use after a few months. Lotions have a longer shelf life if you don’t open them. If you open a brand-new or an old bottle of lotion that smells or looks nasty, it’s best to toss it.

What should I do with expired lip balm?

A lip balm that has outlived its usefulness on the lips can be applied to other areas of the body to provide nourishment. Apply it to your cuticles to keep them smooth and pliable. You can also rub it into your feet to soften the skin and stop blisters from forming from your shoes rubbing on your feet.

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