Can Your Sugar Scrub Expire?

While many people tend to ignore the symbols on the labels of beauty products that tell you how long their shelf life is, cosmetics, just like food, have an expiration date. Luckily, you won't get food poisoning after using expired products, but you could experience skin irritation or come into contact with dangerous bacteria (via Healthline). Because of this, it's a good idea to properly store and dispose of your products once they've passed their prime. 


Sugar scrubs are no exception to this rule, but they don't need special treatment just because they're usually made with food-safe ingredients. To properly store your scrub, make sure you avoid getting water in the container, scoop it out with clean hands, and keep the jar tightly sealed when not in use. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also keep your sugar scrubs in the fridge to discourage the growth of any bacteria that found its way into the container.

How long do sugar scrubs last?

How long your sugar scrub will last depends on what ingredients it contains. Store-bought scrubs usually include preservatives that can extend their shelf life, but homemade varieties usually only last for a maximum of six months before going bad (via DIY Sugar Scrubs). If you want to extend the life of your homemade sugar scrub, you can add a bit of a preservative like rubbing alcohol, but be cautious as these ingredients can dry out the skin.


To check when a store-bought scrub will expire, look at the container. Some brands will have a clear expiration date, while others will only have a seemingly-incomprehensible string of letters and numbers. This is the batch code, and while a bit inconvenient, it can provide some valuable information about when a product was manufactured. Input the code into an online batch code checker, and you'll learn exactly how old your product is. As a general rule of thumb, store-bought scrubs should be discarded about a year after opening.

How to tell if your sugar scrub is bad

Sometimes, if your sugar scrub isn't properly stored, it can go bad before its expiration date. If you notice any off-putting smells, mold, or sudden changes in texture, it's a good idea to toss it. It's always better to err on the side of caution with the products you'll be putting on your skin, so if something seems off, listen to your instincts, especially if you like to use sugar scrubs to exfoliate before or after shaving. Ultra-smooth legs aren't worth the risk if you're covered in a rash a few hours later.


Sugar scrubs won't expire as quickly as the produce in your fridge, but they do tend to have a shorter shelf life than other beauty products because of the ingredients they contain. Because of this, keeping an eye on them and ensuring they're stored properly is especially important to reduce the risk of skin irritation and the formation of bacteria.