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Home :: Professional / Government Regulation / FDA Requirements and Programs / Shelf Life

U. S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Cosmetics Fact Sheet
February 3, 1995

SHELF LIFE - EXPIRATION DATE

Cosmetic products are generally formulated and tested for a shelf life of 1-3 years under normal storage conditions, depending on a product's composition, packaging, preservation, and other factors.

There are no regulations or requirements under current law that require cosmetic manufacturers to print expiration dates on the labels of cosmetic products. Consumers should be aware that expiration dates are simply "rules of thumb," and that a product's safety may expire long before the expiration date if the product has not been properly stored. Cosmetics that have been improperly stored, for example exposed to high temperatures or sunlight or opened and examined by consumers prior to final sale, may deteriorate substantially before the expiration date. On the other hand, products stored under ideal conditions may be acceptable long after the expiration date has been reached.


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