The short answer is that yes, shaving cream does expire.
However, the more important question is when does shaving cream expire because the answer to that question can have a big impact on the quality of your shave.
But first, to answer the questions related to shaving cream, let's take a deeper look at what shaving cream is.
What is shaving cream used for?
Shaving cream is a thick and creamy substance - that acts like a barrier between your skin and the razor blade - used to lubricate your skin and hair to provide a smooth surface for the razor to glide over during the shaving process.
It protects your skin from irritation, rash, redness, cuts and nicks and reduces friction to prevent irritation and razor burn which leads to a more comfortable shaving experience.
When should you use shaving cream?
Shaving cream should be used whenever you shave to give you a closer, smoother shave and reduce irritation and razor burn.
How often should you use shaving cream?
How often you should use shaving cream depends on how often you shave.
For instance, if you shave every day, you should use shaving cream every day.
If you find that your skin is becoming dry or irritated, you can try using a shaving gel or lotion instead.
How do you use shaving cream?
Shaving cream is typically applied with your hands or a shaving brush.
A small amount of shaving cream is worked into a lather and then applied to your skin in circular motions.
Once the shaving cream has been applied, a razor is used to remove unwanted hair.
What is the shelf life of shaving cream?
The shelf life of shaving cream varies depending on the package, type of formulation and how it is stored.
An unopened can of shaving cream will last for 2-3 years while an opened can will only last for 6 months to a year. While, pump shaving cream will only last for 3 to 6 months after being opened before it expires.
With that being said, canned shaving cream lasts much longer than pump shaving cream because it is less exposed to air and tend to last longer because they are less likely to be exposed to bacteria.
The formulation of the shaving cream also affects its shelf life because shaving creams that contain natural ingredients have a shorter shelf life - they are more susceptible to spoilage - than those that contain synthetic ingredients.
When stored properly, in a cool and dry place, shaving cream can last for its full shelf life. However, exposure to sunlight or heat can cause the cream to degrade faster and shorten its lifespan.
To get the most out of your product, it's important to use it within 6 months of opening because once you open a can of shaving cream most shaving creams will last for 6-12 months.
After that, the performance of your shaving cream starts to decline and becomes less effective.
What is the expiry date?
The expiry date tells you how long a product will last and until when you can use the product; after this date, the product starts to deteriorate and is not safe to use.
They expiry date is usually printed on the product packaging, the date will either be printed as a month/day/year or day/month/year.
To understand more about expiry date, you need to know the difference between “Before Opening the Product” and “After Opening the Product” and “Best Before Date”.
“Before Opening the Product” means the product can be used until the date printed on the package, provided that the package has not been opened.
While “After Opening the Product” means that once you have open the product, you need to use it within a certain number of months or days (this will be indicated on the packaging).
The “Best Before Date” is different from the “Expiry Date” as it is the date until when the product will maintain its original quality, after this date, the product will start to lose its quality.
It is important to check and know how to read the expiry date before purchasing a product to ensure that you are using a product that is effective and safe for use.
Expiry dates are usually printed with the following abbreviations:
- "MFE", "MFG" or "M" - stands for manufacturing date.
- "EXP" or "E" - stands for expiration date.
- "BB" or "BBE" - stands for best before date.
- "6M", "12M", or "24M" - stands for how many months the product will last after being opened.
To make sure you don't use a product after its expiry date, write the date of opening on the product packaging so you can easily keep track of how long the product will last.
Products without an expiry date can still go bad which is why it's important to follow the storage instructions on product packaging because bacteria and other microorganisms can cause products to spoil.
What are the signs that your shaving cream has gone bad?
The reality is that most people don't think about the expiration date on their shaving cream, but it is important to pay attention because an expired shaving cream can cause a number of skin issues.
So, how can you tell if it's time to say goodbye to your favorite foamy friend? Well, there are a few signs that indicate when it's time to toss it out.
The best and most obvious sign to tell whether or not your shaving cream has expired is by looking at the packaging and checking the expiration date.
The expiration date on a shaving cream indicates how long the product will remain effective and safe to use.
Once the shaving cream expires, the quality of the product diminishes and it will no longer provide the same level of protection and lubrication.
If for some reason, there is no expiration date, then you can assume that the shaving cream will last 2-3 years if unopened, and 6-12 months if opened.
Another sign is to take a look at the consistency of your shaving cream, if it's become watery or clumpy it may be time to discard it.
Shaving cream is a type of emulsion, which is a mixture of two immiscible liquids, typically oil and water. In the case of shaving cream, the oil is often replaced with a type of wax which is what gives shaving creams their thick, creamy consistency that helps to lubricate your skin.
Emulsions are unstable by nature, and over time the two liquids will begin to separate because it's been exposed to air or bacteria. This process is accelerated by heat and light, both of which cause the water and oil molecules to move around more quickly.
When this happens, the shaving cream will lose its consistency and become less effective.
The last signs that indicates that it's time to say goodbye to your shaving cream is if it has changed colors - brown or yellow - or smells different than usual - rancid or off - which can be signs of bacteria growth.
If you notice any changes in consistency, color, or smell, it's best to err on the side of caution and buy a new can of shaving cream.
Can you use expired shaving cream?
Technically, you can use expired shaving cream, but it's not recommended because emulsions - such as shaving cream - contain water which can evaporate and dry out the product or grow bacteria or mold.
Not only that but the performance of an expired shaving cream may not be up to par with a fresh batch and not provide as much lubrication, leading to more irritation and razor burn.
If you choose to use expired shaving cream, be sure to patch test it on a small area first to see how your skin reacts.
5 Best Tips For Extending The Shelf Life of Shaving Cream
There are a few things you can do to help extend the shelf life of your shaving cream and keep it fresh for longer:
- Store your shaving cream in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources that can cause your cream to break down and separate more quickly. A bathroom cabinet or drawer is a good option, just make sure that the area is free of any condensation which could cause mold or bacteria to grow.
- Once opened, keep the lid on tight when not in use to prevent the product from contaminating and drying out. When the lid is off, the cream is exposed to air and it interacts with germs and bacteria and dries out.
- Use a skincare spatula to avoid contamination because the human body hosts billions of bacteria and germs that could transfer and contaminate the cream causing it to deteriorate over time; if you really need to use your hands, make sure they are clean.
- Avoid leaving your shaving cream in the shower where it will be exposed to both heat and moisture to prevent it from spoiling.
- Don't share your shaving cream with others to prevent bacteria and germs from contaminating the product and irritating your skin.
While there are some steps you can take to extend the shelf life of your shaving cream, it's ultimately a perishable product and will expire at some point; so keep an eye on the expiration date and try to use the shaving cream before it expires.
The best way to ensure that you always have fresh shaving cream on hand is to finish it before it has a chance to expire. This way, you'll never have to worry about using expired shaving cream again!