Olio di fico d'India

Expiry data for cosmetics

Cosmetic products, like food products for example, have an expiration date. And also in the case of cosmetics it is important not to underestimate this date.

The products of our company, ROVITI, clearly indicate the expiration date.

Where can find the expiry date of a cosmetic

First of all, there are three ways to know the expiration date of a cosmetic:

    1. The PAO, which in English stands for “Period After Opening”. The PAO is indicated on the package with the symbol of an open jar with a number followed by the letter “M”. For example, if we find 18M it means that the product, since it is open, has a duration of 18 months.
    2. The expiry date clearly marked on the package by the manufacturer (month and year). This is more rarely indicated on cosmetic products
    3. The lot number  is an alphanumeric code, also called “Shelf Life”, literally “period on the shelf”. Due to this lot number it is possible to trace the date of manufacture of the product. And therefore we can know the expiration date determined by law or by the characteristics of the product. The batch number is indelibly printed on the package.


We have to know that the expiration date of the cosmetic product is very important. In the best of cases, the product no longer has any effect after the expiration date.

It begins to change color and the smell becomes unpleasant. In the worst case, the expired cosmetic can cause dermatitis And maybe major irritation, allergies and infections.

If the expiration data of the cosmetic product is clearly indicated it is easy to interpret it. Unfortunately, in the other two cases it is more difficult.

Let’s take an example. We buy a cosmetic in the perfumery shop and we shall see that its PAO is 12 months. Perfect! The next day I open it and start using it for a maximum period of 12 months. In the 12-month period, however, the product may have already expired.

Therefore after only 2 or 3 months I could find myself with an expired product despite being respecting the PAO.


The scenario just described is possible if we have not dated the manufacturing date determined by the batch number. Let’s imagine that the product has by law a maximum shelf life of two years from the moment of its production. And that the product has remained a long time on the perfumery shelf.

At the time of purchase we are probably buying a product that is still valid, for example, another 6 months according to the information of the manufacturing batch. But the customer shall use the product for a period of 12 months with all the possible consequences already mentioned for his skin.

The lot number or Shelf Life is also and above all important to more easily identify a series of products that have suffered some health problems at the time of manufacture. The industrialist then proceeds to recall and withdraw from the market the products with a specific lot number.

However, we have seen that it is also important to determine the true expiry date of a product.


How to trace the manufacture date with the batch number ? There are some applications on the web that offer this service. Another option is to contact the manufacturer directly through its website or Customer Care.

However, it is important not to neglect this aspect and do some more in-depth research if you have doubts about the actual lifespan of our cosmetics.

We are at your disposal with all the necessary information at any time !

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