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This viral TikTok warns you might be buying expired beauty products

TextAlex Peters

Are stores selling you decade old cosmetics?

Earlier this year, a TikTok exposing what beauty retailers such as Ulta really do with returned products went viral leaving people shocked by the wasteful reality of the “damaging out” process. 

Now, a new TikTok video is hoping to educate customers about another aspect of beauty retail and teach us how to purchase smartly and safely. 

Yesterday, TikTok user Canon Ryder posted a video warning people that beauty products sold at third-party retailers such as TJ Maxx and Ross might be well past their prime. Taking an Olay moisturiser as an example, Ryder demonstrates how to locate the product’s batch number and run it through a website called Cosmetic Calculator in order to find out when it was produced. In the case of the moisturiser, the answer turned out to be 2011. “This product is almost ten years old and they are trying to sell it to you,” Ryder says in the video. “Don’t get scammed.”

This 2011 date for the Olay moisturiser is also the result given when you use the same batch number on a different cosmetics shelf life website Check Fresh. Expiration dates for beauty products vary depending on the type of product and ingredients used including preservatives. Traditionally shelf life for cosmetics has ranged from one to three years. In the case of the Olay moisturiser, it was 36 months. 

If you want to test out products you already own or are interested in purchasing, locate the batch number which can usually be found on the bottom of the product and run it through Check Fresh or Cosmetic Calculator. Although both websites have an extensive list of brands they cover, not every brand is listed so be sure to double check. To get more tips on how to decontaminate your make-up and ensure your beauty products are safe, read our guide here.

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