Do Face Masks Expire? Everything You Need to Know

There’s nothing worse than going to your beauty products, fishing for the perfect spa materials for girls’ night in, only to realize that your products are past their expiration date. It’s especially painful if those products were expensive.

Even though it might tempt you to hold onto these things until they’re used, using skincare products past their expiration date can be harmful. Let’s talk about everything you need to know about skin care items, more importantly answering the question, “do face masks expire”.

person removing blue face mask

Products and Expirations Once Opened

If you’re wondering, “how long do face masks last,” here’s your answer: a majority of skin products have a usable lifespan of two to three years. Aspects from ingredients to preservatives used in these products ultimately affect how long it will take for them to expire. 

Additionally, even though the shelf life of items is typically a couple years, that all changes the second you open them. Once you tear any seals, products, such as sheet masks, will begin to oxidize and expire much faster – usually 6 months to a year.

Test and Check

Although sheet masks expire, you may be able to test some out (shortly) after the expiration date printed on their labels to see if they are still okay to use. There are a few ways you can experiment. 

First, open the expired face mask and inhale – does it smell weird or off in any way? If so, throw it in the garbage. However, if it smells okay, take a dab of some of its essence and wipe on your wrists. If your skin doesn’t react and everything feels fine, use it. 

If applying it to your face feels uncomfortable, you may still use sheet masks on other areas of the body, such as the chest, feet or neck.

Storage is Key

Sheet masks typically come packaged in one-use pouches that cannot be opened and then re-sealed. This means that, unlike other items you can open and reseal, sheet masks won’t grow bacterias from having been opened. 

However, bacteria can still live in an unopened sheet mask. For example, if you keep your masks in a humid, warm area, you’ll want to make sure you use your masks before the expiry date.

Dangers of Using Expired Products

Like milk in a fridge, a couple days after the expiration date, we might smell it to see if it’s still okay and then pour our morning cereal like everything’s fine. However, when it comes to skincare products, it can be harmful to use them past their expiration date, especially over a year after the fact. 

Formulas can begin to get gross and the preservatives within them can become ineffective, which may open up the skin to microbe contamination. In other words, you may experience consequences such as breakouts, irritation and even infection.

Getting the Most Out of Your Products

Time continues no matter what. The hands on the clock don’t stop because your face masks are about to expire. However, there are certain measures you can take to get the most out of your products and make them last longer. 

For example, using spatulas, droppers and other items to that effect for application will go a long way in prevention of bacterial contamination since it means keeping our hands from touching the products directly. 

Additionally, properly storing products will keep them in good condition as well. As a good rule of thumb, never store skin products (like face masks) in temperatures that are extreme and avoid direct sunlight at all costs – doing so will keep their ingredients stable, especially oils. 

Finally, a good habit to form is writing down the date you open any skin product directly on the bottle or pouch so you know how long you have to use it once you’ve opened the seals. Use a permanent marker so it can’t rub off.


All in all, like foods, skin care products expire too. You wouldn’t eat cheese a year after its expiration or drink milk a week after the date printed clearly on the gallon either. These dates are labeled on consumer products for a reason. Products for skin, like face masks, are constructed with particular formulas that don’t stay usable forever, however much we may wish they did.

So, when you buy your next face mask for a girls night or self care day, remember the tips you’ve learned today so that you can get the most out of your purchase. And of course, for best care of your face, be sure to clean it frequently, using products such as quality facial cleansing brushes for optimal results!

And with that, happy self-care, friend!

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