How Long Does Hand Lotion Last?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

This is a problem we all have to face. Many types of beauty products are rather expensive. For that reason, we tend to hang on to them for as long as possible, even past expiration dates. That being said, we need to find out how long hand lotions last and when it is not safe to use it anymore. In this post, we will investigate the possibilities of expiration dates and how long you can hold on to your favorite lotion.

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Table of Contents

eos Shea Better Hand Cream - Coconut | 24 Hour Hydration that Lasts through Handwashing | Fast-Absorbing & Non-Greasy | 2.5 oz

Do Hand Lotions Expire?

Any type of lotion will eventually expire, but most of the time, if it is kept sealed, it will last at least 3 years.

After it is opened, the lotion will typically last for at least 1 year while it is being used. It may even last a bit longer, depending on how much product you apply.

Most of the time and with regular use, you will use up a container of lotion long before the expiration date comes to pass.

Can You Use Out-Of-Date Hand Cream?

While it’s possible to use expired hand lotion, it’s not advisable. The main purpose of a lotion is to hydrate the skin, and after it has expired, it may lose its potential to do that.

A newly-expired lotion can be relatively safe to use, but products that have been expired for a while should be tossed.

The problem with expired lotion may not be with the lotion itself but with the bacteria that may grow in it. The ingredients that expire also lose their efficacy and can develop properties that can be unsafe when used.

Especially if you have sensitive skin or skin problems such as eczema, using expired hand lotion will negatively affect your skin. It may cause bad allergic reactions and trigger other skin issues.

How Do You Use Expired Lotion?

You should be very careful when you use expired lotion because of the breakdown of the ingredients inside it.

If it is a sealed container or comes with a pump, you do not need to worry about bacterial growth inside the bottle.

When your hand lotion is in a jar, the chances are that it could be contaminated with some type of bacteria and should not be used for long.

Should you find that the product is expired, the best thing to do is to throw it out. Choose your skin’s health over anything!

Side Effects of Expired Hand Lotion

Lotion that is expired will not necessarily harm you, but as mentioned before, it may not perform the way it was intended to. If the hand lotion contains active sunscreen, it should not be used after the expiration date, as it may be harmful.

Hand Lotion Set - Pack of 6 Hand Cream Enriched with Shea Butter and Glycerin to Nourish and Deeply moisturize Rough Hands, 6 x 1.0 oz/30ml Travel Size Hand Lotion, Best Women Gifts

How to Tell When Hand Lotion is Expired

When a lotion is expired and cannot be used anymore, you will most likely be able to see if it has broken down. It goes the same for hand lotions.

The consistency can become more watery or oily, and discoloration is also very possible. It can appear more yellow or brown, if the original color is meant to be more cream or light.

Your nose will also tell you that the lotion cannot be used anymore if it smells bad or funny.

How to Read Expiration Dates on Lotion Products

Normally, you will find the expiration date of a product expressed in the month and year it will expire. It may also show a best before date on the product label, and with hand lotions, there might be an icon.
This icon may contain the letter M for total months and a digit that will show the number of months after opening the product.

We show some popular products available on Amazon that show this icon, the expiration date, or the letters “PAO,” which is the period after opening.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

How Long Does Lotion Last on the Skin?

According to experts, you should use lotion on the skin in the morning and at night for a better effect.

For the hands, that is a much different story. You should use hand lotion every time you wash your hands.

For colder and/or drier weather, you should reapply more often because your skin can be more dehydrated. Wouldn’t want any cracked knuckles and flaky fingertips!

How Long Does Hand Lotion Stay on the Skin When Applied?

If you are not going to wash your hands on a regular basis or do many activities with your hands, the lotion should stay on for quite some.

However, if you want your hands to be constantly moisturized, you should treat it the same as sunscreen and use it on your hands every 3 hours.

How Long Does it Take For Lotion to Run Out?

It all depends on the moisture content of the product and how regular you are using the hand lotion.

Normally a 30ml bottle of lotion will last 2 to 3 months depending on the frequency with which it is being used.

Here is a table that will show you the full measures and how long it should last.

J.R. Watkins Natural Moisturizing Hand Cream, Coconut, Hydrating Hand Moisturizer with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Avocado Oil, USA Made and Cruelty Free, 3.3oz (Packaging May Vary )

Some FAQs on expiration dates of cosmetic products:

Do Skincare Products Expire?

Like everything else in the world of perishable goods, skincare products also expire at some point and will no longer be good.

Unsealed skincare products usually have a shelf life of 2-3 years.

Usually the product will show the number of months from time of opening that it will last. As long as it is still sealed, you can safely use it for the next months indicated in the label, but not if it is opened.

How Long Do Unopened Skincare Products Last?

Skincare products have a shelf life of up to 3 years if not opened.

The problem is that you do not know how long it has been on the shelves before you bought the product.

How long does hand lotion last? A Summary

Normal hand lotion will last for quite some time, and if you use it regularly, you should not have a problem.

It is better not to use hand lotions that are in a container for too long after the expiration date due to bacterial growth.

To be on the safe side, use a container that allows you to either pour the lotion out or that has a pump. This prevents contaminating the product inside.

Remember to prioritize your health over saving a few $! We hope we helped you learn about how long does hand lotion last.

By Ellis James

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  1. Before reading this article. I really was unable about hand lotion shelf life. Thanks for sharing this article. Keep it up.

  2. Definitely better to be cautious than deal with rashes or other unpleasant skin problems. You’re welcome, Carrie!

  3. Thanks so much, Sarah! And yes, these things do tend to pile up; it’s always better to be safe!

  4. This is such an informative post! I did not know all this about hand lotions. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. This is good to know… I have so many hand lotions that sometimes they do expire and I wonder if I should use them or toss. Thanks for these tips!


  6. These are great tips. My hands tend to get really dry in the winter so I always end up using a tube or two per season, but I will have a look to throw out old ones that are left forgotten in the bottom of my handbag!

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