What Happens When Aquaphor Expires? (We Have the Answer!)   

what happens when aquaphor expires

Most of us don’t give a whole lot of thought to whether or not our skin care products expire – or whether it’s safe to even use skincare products that we’ve kept in the medicine cabinet well past their expiration date.

Take Aquaphor, for example.

A wonderful soothing and protecting skincare solution, millions of people have at least one jar of Aquaphor in their bathroom. Folks with tattoos (or particularly sensitive skin) usually have two or three jars kicking around.

This stuff is a modern miracle of skincare engineering to be sure. But is it safe to use Aquaphor after its expiration date?

Does it even have an expiration date?

We dig into all that (and more) below.

What is Aquaphor?

The Aquaphor healing ointment is one of the most beloved skincare solutions on the planet today, used by millions of people on a regular basis for a bunch of different reasons.

Some people love to use Aquaphor to quickly moisturize and protect their skin that’s prone to drying out, especially in less than humid or super dry conditions. People love to reach for a bottle of Aquaphor in the winter just make sure their skin (and their lips) don’t become chapped.

Other folks like to use Aquaphor slathered all over fresh tattoos to make sure that their skin is moisturized and protected while the tattoo area heals up.

This stuff works wonders for that!

And then of course you have people using Aquaphor to help with diaper rash and other skin irritations, using it as a hydrating mask, or even applying it to minor cuts and bruises to help speed up the healing process.

Think of Aquaphor as a Swiss Army knife in the skincare world.

Does Aquaphor Expire?

Like pretty much everything else on the market today Aquaphor comes with its own expiration date, usually two years after the Aquaphor cream was put into that specific jar.

The folks at Aquaphor state pretty openly that this product “shouldn’t” expire – it doesn’t go bad, it doesn’t get rancid, and it’s not dangerous to use past the two-year mark – but that it can be less effective as time goes on.

Aquaphor also recommends users keep open jars of this stuff in room temperature conditions (or even cooler when possible), out of direct sunlight, and in storage spaces that are relatively free of excessive humidity.

Hot, humid conditions are going to do a number on Aquaphor. You might find that it stops working a whole lot sooner than two years after the jar was bottled if left in those kinds of environments.

Leave the lid off of your Aquaphor for too long and you might discover that it stops working completely in just a few days. It’ll dry and harden to appoint that’s unusable a whole lot faster than you might have expected.

What Happens When Aquaphor Expires?

If Aquaphor hasn’t been open within the two-year “expiration window” and you pop it open let’s say three, four, or even five years later the odds are pretty good you’re not going to notice anything different about the product at all.

It’s going to look the same. It’s going to feel the same. And it’s going to deliver the same kind of healing and restorative results for at least the next two years or so.

Let’s say, though, that you’ve already cracked open the seal on a jar of Aquaphor and are wondering if there are signs that it’s begun to expire.

Here’s what to expect:

First, you’re probably going to notice that the instantly recognizable smell of Aquaphor (especially when it’s “fresh”) starts to die down over time. As this aroma gets fainter and faither you’ll probably start to recognize that the impact this skin cream has on your body begins to drop off.

Secondly, you’re going to notice some consistency changes with uncle for as it begins to blow past that expiration date.

It’s going to get thicker. It’s going to get harder. And it’s going to lose a lot of its “gooeyness”.

Finally, if you start to notice Aquaphor change colors on you it’s probably a good idea to pitch it in the garbage bin and get your hands on a new jar.

That’s a surefire sign that your stash of Aquaphor has reached its expiration point!

Is Aquaphor Okay to Use After Expiration Date?

Yes, you can technically use expired Aquaphor without any issues whatsoever (even if it’s not recommended by the folks that make the stuff).

The main ingredient in Aquaphor – mineral oil – never really breaks down and never really degrades. The rest of the ingredients, though – glycerin, lanolin alcohol, panthenol, and the rest of them – will degrade over time, reducing the effectiveness of this product.

It might not ever get to the point where expired Aquaphor is going to jeopardize your health or wellness. It’s just that you’ll be wasting your time using a product that isn’t really benefiting you at all anymore.

Does Aquaphor Clog Pores and Cause Blemishes?

Aquaphor (especially used on your face on a regular basis) has been known to cause clogged pores that lead to acne and other blemishes.

This is why it’s so important to limit the amount of times you use Aquaphor on your face, instead relying on it as a sporadic (maybe a couple of times a month) “skin mask” or a spot healer when you’re dealing with dry skin, minor cuts and abrasions, etc.

Use this stuff to frequently and the mineral oil will do a number on your skin. This is especially true if you already have oilier skin and are prone to acne and breakouts.


So how long can you use Aquaphor for?

While the company recommends you use up every jar of Aquaphor within two years of breaking the seal on it, you (with proper storage) can reliably extend the shelf life of this skincare solution for another two or even three years beyond that.

At the end of the day, though, Aquaphor is so inexpensive and so readily available that there’s really no reason to fool around with a skincare cream that isn’t working as well as it would if it were still fresh.

Don’t worry, though.

Putting a bit of expired Aquaphor on your skin (as long as the texture, aroma, and color of the cream hasn’t changed) isn’t going to do any real harm to your skin, health, or wellness!

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