Does Self Tanner Expire? Can I Use?

does self tanner expire

Self-tanners produce a tan that is natural-looking and flawless, as opposed to one that comes from sunbathing. What about self-tans? Are they safe? Do they still work after a long time? Do they self-tanner expire?

In short, self-tanners will eventually expire. It’s a common question among novices and even seasoned users. If self-tanners expire, can you still use them? And how do you know when they have already expired? We’ll answer all those questions below.

Do Self-Tanners Expire? Can I use them for a long time?

Aside from the ingredients and side effects of self-tanners, many consumers are concerned about the expiration date. Yes, self-tanners expire. Once they expire, they are no longer effective, though they are non-toxic.

You’ll not only develop blemishes and won’t absorb the self-tanner, but your skin will also have a bad tan. For your information, self-tanners have an average shelf life of up to one year. Self-tanners can be used past their expiration date, but they may not be as effective as a fresh product.

Can you use a self-tanner expired safely? 

The ingredients in self-tanners aren’t toxic, so expiring ones shouldn’t harm you, but you should avoid using an expired one.

While certain self-tanners may have ingredients that make them gentler on the skin, each ingredient in a self-tanner may expire at a different time. It is possible that this product could cause your skin to react or irritate.

If this happens, wash off the product immediately and dispose of the bottle. After a while, the rash or irritation should subside, and you can use a cream or treatment for this.

However, the only difference between them would be in performance and texture, not safety. If you’re concerned about safety, either avoid using an old self-tanner entirely or perform a patch test on a small area of skin as described previously.

Formats for self-tanners 

It will also depend on the packaging and format of the product whether it will expire sooner or later.

1) Lotions

Because self-tanners in lotion form are exposed to the air when they are opened, they typically self-tanner expire faster.

2)  Towelettes

In general, tanning towels will expire after about 12 months. If they are opened and exposed to air, they will dry out much faster than that. If not, they may last even longer.

3)  Expiration Dates

However, self-tanners still have expiration dates. Some companies may affix an expiration date to them, while others require you to take note of the day you opened them.

What causes self-tanners to lose their effectiveness?

does loving tan expire

Self-tanners in jars typically last 6 to 9 months; if the container has a pump, it lasts 12 months since it is tightly sealed.

With time, the liquid component of the self-tanner may evaporate. As it evaporates, the density of DHA increases, affecting the color and creating the poorest quality tan.

Read More:

How Do You Check If Your Loving Tanner Is Expired?

Sunless tanners may have an expiration date, but others may not. It is up to you to keep track of when you opened your sunless tanner. If it has been one year since you opened it, you should consider tossing it and getting another bottle. To check its status, do the following:

1)  Do A Patch Test

For a patch test of your loving tan, you can apply the tanning product to a small area of your skin, such as your arm or leg. This is to determine whether the tanning product will still be able to produce the color you want or not. You may still be able to use it if it does.

2)  Consistency Check

You may see that the consistency of the self-tanner changes when it expires. The oils and other ingredients may separate. You may notice that it feels too watery, lumpy, or thicker than usual.

If this is the only factor you consider, don’t base your decision solely on it. It is still possible that you simply need to shake the product and mix it well and it will still work.

3)  Check The Color

A visual test could also be performed. If the product appears green, then it is almost certain to be expired. It has likely degraded due to air or heat exposure. The green color is produced when the colorants combined with DHA have degraded.

4)  Do A Sniff Test

You can also smell the self-tanner to determine whether it is expired. The scent may change, but it can also remain the same. This is somewhat tricky, though, since self-tanners have a scent that can change when applied, even if fresh.

Are self-tanners safe?

Self-tans are easier and safer than sunbathing, as UV rays from the sun can be harmful. Dermatologists recommend self-tans instead of sunbathing. Self-tanners containing DHA have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DHA is one of the active ingredients that darkens the skin.

You can purchase self-tanners in different forms: lotions, creams, powders, sprays, and pills. The color produced only lasts for a few days. To keep your tan, reapply after 3 to 4 days. The color will fade as dead skin cells are shed. These lotions and creams not only leave the skin tanned but also moisturized and well-nourished.

The way to apply self-tanning lotion?

  • If necessary, exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells. You should pay attention to the knees, elbows, ankles, and other areas with thick skin. After exfoliating, dry the skin.
  • It is best to apply the self-tanning lotion in sections. Apply it to the body according to sections, such as the arms, legs, and torso. Apply it in a circular motion. To avoid staining your hands, wash them after applying the lotion to each section.
  • In areas with thick skin, dilute self-tanning lotion by lightly rubbing it with a damp cloth.
  • You should wait for the self-tan lotion to dry; it usually takes about 10 minutes. Wear loose clothing to avoid sweating. Allow time for the self-tanner to take effect.
  • Generally, the tan will fade within a few days. If you want to maintain your tan, apply self-tanning lotion every 3-4 days. Apply for UV protection even if you already have a tan. Self-tanning lotions and other products do not contain sunscreen. When you are spending time outdoors, use sunscreen to protect your skin from skin cancer and other problems.

Final thoughts

If you use a self-tanner expire, it’s a waste of time. Although there are no health risks associated with using an expired self-tanner, it’s a waste of your time. Avoid purchasing a lot of self-tanners to prevent wastage of money.


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