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When a product goes bad! How to tell? What are consequences?
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Jeannine
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:05 am      Reply with quote
This subject came up buried in a thread about oils in the lounge. I've been meaning to start a discussion on it because it seems like every time I turn around, I am throwing something away because I'm afraid it has gone bad. Mind you, I'm not sure it's bad, but after finding out that I had been using rancid Vit C on my face for at least two months, I haven't wanted to take the risk.

I copied the following, which I originally posted in the lounge buried in that thread, but think it deserves it's own topic here. In particular, I want to know about the filmy, tendrilly stuff that seems to grow in liquids. Is this stuff bad? Is it natural? ...

"I'm worried about the consequences of putting rancid stuff on my face! Embarassed Shock

Sometimes, it's easy to tell if an oil/product has gone bad: The color and/or odor changes dramatically. I've actually pulled out a bottle of essential oil (can't remember what it was it was so long ago) and found that the oil had turned black. No way I'm putting that on my skin! I've had Vit. C turn from clear to dark yellow--definitely bad, but I didn't know it at the time and kept using it for several months! Also, the consistency can change. I've had Bergamot that kinda gelified. I think it was about two years old at that point.

The trouble is when it is hard to tell. I keep throwing away oil and products because they get a film and/or floating stuff in the bottle, like jelly fish or cobwebs. I just threw away a nearly full bottle of PSF R&R toner because I feared it had gone bad (I recently noticed it had filmy, tendrilly stuff floating in it). But I just read that this tendrilly stuff is normal for ACV, so maybe it's normal for oils and products, too?!"

I confess, I am a hoarder. And I often buy in bulk to save money. I am heartbroken to have to throw away full bottles of stuff. Help!

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Best, Jeannine (40s, fair skin, hazel eyes, sensitive skin). To fight the dread lemming sickness, I promise not to rave about a product until I have used it for a long while.
nyonyakay
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:48 am      Reply with quote
Umm, in my humble opinion, buying skincare in bulk is a false economy. Unless they are well-sealed and kept in a cool, dry dark place, active ingredients by and large have a limited period of potency.

Once you have opened a product such as a serum or a cream, I would venture to say it becomes ineffective after 6 months if there is any left. They may do no harm, but it is likely they will do no good either. Vitamin C products should be used within 60 days max. As you have discovered, even oils go rancid.

Refrigeration helps to prolong their potency. Consider getting yourself a little bar fridge just for your skincare, or allocate a little shelf space in your food fridge. Once you have opened a product, transfer some of it to a little jar, enough for 1 week's use. Keep this on your vanity for daily use. Re-seal and refrigerate the remainder until you need to use it again.
la vie en rose
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:17 am      Reply with quote
Jeannine -- sometimes it's hard to tell if something has gone bad by looks or smell alone. i'm a hoarder too -- but usually with stuff that hasn't worked or is *so* expensive i only want to use it for special occassions....

ilearned the hard way that this is *not* a good thing to do. i had a very expensive body lotion (come on, this is body, not face!) that i save for special occassions. makes my body feel like silk like nobodys business and nothing has ever worked in such a quick and brilliant way (one application seems to reverse weeks of neglect). so i put this on recently -- my whole friggin body turned red within a matter of minutes. i kid you not! i mean, i slathered the stuff on, but still. bright tomato red. and itchy like crazy. to make it worse i put it on for an important event and was squirming half the time even though i'd hopped in the shower and rinsed my body off (on the plus side, my skin was incredibly soft).

now this was my body. what if it had been face? what damage could i have done there???

as one hoarder to another, stop! throw things away. i am in the process of doing that now and, even though it's painful, i feel a lot better.... keep things you use, don't buy in bulk, and throw out the rest.
Wild Cat
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:02 pm      Reply with quote
I am a hoarder too, at least to my SO. He has been pushing me to clear out the cabinet under our sink. Its exploding with skincare products, samples, and empty bottles I saved for DIY products. He said he would be very happy if I can get that done soon ... Rolling Eyes

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Lisey
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:58 pm      Reply with quote
I never buy in bulks.. Depends on what the item is. But usually for skin care, I never buy in bulks.
la vie en rose
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:19 pm      Reply with quote
Wild Cat wrote:
I am a hoarder too, at least to my SO. He has been pushing me to clear out the cabinet under our sink. Its exploding with skincare products, samples, and empty bottles I saved for DIY products. He said he would be very happy if I can get that done soon ... Rolling Eyes

we must be with the same guy! or maybe we're really the same person.... Laughing
AmyNaturDerm
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:31 pm      Reply with quote
[i]High quality essential oils will always be in a darker (usually cobalt blue or amber) glass container. Some essential oils contain natural antioxidant properties and some don't - they are intended to be used within short amounts of time as the properties within the oil degrade over time. Discolorations can be due to light exposure too - black oil! yuck - you poor thing - you should have returned the product! Amy

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Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:36 pm      Reply with quote
In my 20s, I bought this shampoo from Target and loved it. (Sorry can't remember the brand now.) Then when they went on sale, I went crazy and stocked up. Then when I used the shampoo, I smelled plastic, which was not the case before. After that, I have been battling with dandruff and sensitive scalp ever since. So I learned never to stock up on shampoo and now skincare.
bushy
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:32 am      Reply with quote
I don't really know how to tell but here in Oz, all products must have a use by date. If I purchase from overseas (which I always do from EDS) then I look for a use by date on the packaging or container and if I don't find one then I write on the container when I received it. If I put it in the back of the cupboard and find it quite some time later then I know how long I have had it. For actives 6 months and I toss. For others, 12 months and I toss. If the product is in a see through container and it can be judged that it has significantly changed colour then I toss.

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Jeannine
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:15 am      Reply with quote
Thanks for the advice everyone. I certainly won't be hoarding any more. I'm truly disgusted with all the waste! I thought I was doing myself a favor by stocking up when things are on sale or when there are deals. I must have 6 tubes of Almay Kinetin Eye that have been in my cabinet since the summer. They discontinued it, so I bought all that was left. And some stuff has been in my cabinet for a decade! I'll be purging this weekend for sure, but at least I've learned my lesson.

I still am curious about the tendrilly stuff that I have found in liquid products and oils. Many of the products are in dark colored glass bottles, but you can still see the tendrilly stuff floating around. It sometimes looks like cobwebs. Could it be bacteria? Or is it just something natural? I was assuming that it must be bacteria and was throwing stuff away that had it, but then I read elsewhere on the forum that it is natural to organic ACV and is harmless. I had just thrown away ACV for that reason and was disappointed that I might have done so needlessly.

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Best, Jeannine (40s, fair skin, hazel eyes, sensitive skin). To fight the dread lemming sickness, I promise not to rave about a product until I have used it for a long while.
Jeannine
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:21 am      Reply with quote
This is great advice. I was doing it for a few things (hydrosols and some oil blends), but now I think I will do it for everything.

nyonyakay wrote:
Refrigeration helps to prolong their potency. Consider getting yourself a little bar fridge just for your skincare, or allocate a little shelf space in your food fridge. Once you have opened a product, transfer some of it to a little jar, enough for 1 week's use. Keep this on your vanity for daily use. Re-seal and refrigerate the remainder until you need to use it again.

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Best, Jeannine (40s, fair skin, hazel eyes, sensitive skin). To fight the dread lemming sickness, I promise not to rave about a product until I have used it for a long while.
Jeannine
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:23 am      Reply with quote
That's a good idea about writing the date on products. I hate that the makers of the product don't put it on the product. Who knows how long it has been sitting in the seller's inventory before it's bought?! I wish it were law here in the U.S.

bushy wrote:
I don't really know how to tell but here in Oz, all products must have a use by date. If I purchase from overseas (which I always do from EDS) then I look for a use by date on the packaging or container and if I don't find one then I write on the container when I received it.

_________________
Best, Jeannine (40s, fair skin, hazel eyes, sensitive skin). To fight the dread lemming sickness, I promise not to rave about a product until I have used it for a long while.
Jeannine
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:25 am      Reply with quote
That's a good idea about writing the date on products. I hate that the makers of the product don't put it on the product. Who knows how long it has been sitting in the seller's inventory before it's bought?! I wish it were law here in the U.S.

bushy wrote:
I don't really know how to tell but here in Oz, all products must have a use by date. If I purchase from overseas (which I always do from EDS) then I look for a use by date on the packaging or container and if I don't find one then I write on the container when I received it.

_________________
Best, Jeannine (40s, fair skin, hazel eyes, sensitive skin). To fight the dread lemming sickness, I promise not to rave about a product until I have used it for a long while.
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