Does Baby Powder Expire: How Long Can You Keep Using It?

So, you’ve got several baby powders as gifts from your loved ones. But, you can’t finish them all in 3 months now, can you? Are they going to expire? 

Today I’ll discuss one of the most asked questions. Does baby powder expire? How long can you keep using them?

Like all other consumable products, baby powders also come with an expiration date. However, the durability depends on the powder’s ingredients. Let’s find out more about baby powder expiration. 

Does Baby Powder Expire? 

To be short and precise, yes, baby powders do come with expiry dates. The manufacturer will provide you with an expiry date printed on the container. The powder is best before that date. 

But you already knew that. What you didn’t know is what to do if the container does not come with an expiry date. Well, it depends on whether you’ve opened the bottle or not. 

Once open, it’s better not to use the powder after 12 months. However, if it’s still sealed, you can keep it for up to 3 years before it expires. That’s, of course, if the bottle doesn’t have an expiry date. 

Baby Powder Ingredients

There can be one of two primary ingredients in a baby powder. It can either be a talc-based powder or a cornstarch-based powder. 

Talc, one type of mineral, does not come with an expiry date, and it’s a non-organic ingredient. It’s a combination of magnesium, oxygen, and silicon. Many people argue about the safety of using talc, which is why the alternative ingredient, i.e., cornstarch, is getting popular day by day. 

It’s the same cornstarch you use for cooking purposes. However, it’s organic, so it’s perishable, unlike talc. Baby powders also have other ingredients like minerals and vitamin E, other than talc or cornstarch. 

Why Baby Powders Expire

As I’ve mentioned before, talc doesn’t have an expiration date. Even cornstarch, when gone through processing, doesn’t usually expire. So, why is there an expiry date on baby powders? 

It’s because the ingredients can get altered by environmental factors. Cornstarch especially is a lot susceptible to the environment. And where a baby is concerned, you can never be too careful. 

Besides, there can be other perishable ingredients on a baby powder. If they come with a short shelf life, there’s no extra benefit of the talc’s or cornstarch’s indefinite shelf life. 

The manufacturer prints an expiry date because you can’t create a factory-like environment to keep the powder from going bad indefinitely. If the product stays sealed in an airtight environment, it may never expire. 

However, you can’t do that, given that you’ll be using the powder frequently. Also, opening the container lid exposes the product to the surrounding. Germs can enter the bottle and mess up the formula. 

So, keep an eye out for any changes, even if the expiry date hasn’t been exceeded. Check if the texture and smell are okay. 

How Long Can You Use Baby Powders? 

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to understand the nature of all the ingredients used to manufacture the powder. So, it’s always better to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions. The safest bet is to stick to the date printed on the pack. 

If, however, there isn’t a date provided by the brand, avoid using the powder more than 12 months after opening it. If you haven’t opened it, you can use it for up to three years but not more than that. 

Note that you won’t need to throw the powder away after the duration I’ve mentioned. You just need to stop using it on the skin. Luckily enough, there are several other ways you can use expired baby powder. I’ve mentioned some of them in a different section. 

Signs Of An Expired Baby Powder

  • The first and most obvious clue to look for is the date on the pack. Depending on the brand you’re using, the ingredients will differ. So, check for the date in the powder’s packaging. 
  • If you fail to store the powder properly, the powder will not be safe to use anymore. For example, let’s say you’ve kept the lid open for too long, even when not using. It can cause germ to enter the bottle, making it unsafe for your baby. 
  • If you notice any lump inside the powder, avoid using it. It’s not safe to use it anymore. If moisture enters the bottle, the powder loses its basic texture and defeats the purpose of using a powder in the first place. 
  • After a long time, you’ll notice your powder isn’t smelling as good as it used to. If you keep the lid open for too long, the smell disappears with time. If the smell isn’t right, you shouldn’t use the powder. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use An Expired Baby Powder

There are arguments about connecting talc to cancer. Even though it’s not evident that talc can harm your baby’s skin, using any expired products should be out of the question. 

Your newborn’s skin is a lot more sensitive than adults. So, using anything that exceeded its expiry date on your baby’s skin can cause irritation, rashes, and other skin diseases. 

So, avoid using any products that are expired, not just powder. Also, follow the proper storing procedures to ensure the maximum shelf life of the baby products. I’ve included a guideline on how to store baby powder below safely. 

Safely Storing A Baby Powder 

  • Different baby powders consist of different smells, textures, ingredients, and features. So, it’s safe to say that storing method can differ too. Look at the powder’s labeling if there are any special instructions for storing it.
  • Close the lid right after using the powder. Do not leave the bottle’s lid open for long. 
  • Avoid storing the powder in a place with high humidity. Instead, keep it in a cold and dry area. 
  •  Make sure the container isn’t within reach of your baby. 

Alternative Uses Of A Baby Powder

Both talc and cornstarch come with indefinite shelf life. So, it’s not compulsory to throw away the powder if it’s expired. Instead, you can use it for other purposes than for your baby. 

  • If you have a dog, you can sprinkle some baby powder on its fur. It’ll make your dog smell and look better than before. 
  • If your hair is oily and you’re in a hurry, baby powder works great as a dry shampoo. You’ll notice the powder absorbing the moisture and making your hair look silky again. 
  • Using baby powder on your eyelashes prior to applying mascara makes your lashes look denser. It’s a common hack among people who apply makeup regularly. 
  • Baby powder can make playing cards feel smoother to the touch. Place the cards inside a plastic bag, add a generous amount of baby powder, seal the opening, and give the bag a good shake. You’ll see the result for yourself. 
  • You can sprinkle some baby powder on shoes to reduce foul odor. Leave the shoes overnight with baby powder sprinkled on it. 
  • Baby powder can reduce squeakiness from a door. Apply some powder on the hinges and notice the difference right away. 
  • You can use baby powder to detangle your necklace too. It reduces friction, which makes it easier to detangle any tangled jewelry. 
  • Applying a bit of baby powder inside your rubber gloves can make them convenient to wear. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use expired baby powder?

You should never put your baby’s health at risk. So, avoid using any expired products, including baby powders. It comes pretty cheaply, so throw out the expired bottle as soon as possible.

How long can I use a baby powder without an expiry date? 

If your baby powder doesn’t have an expiry date or the date isn’t readable, you can use it up to 12 months after opening. If you haven’t opened it yet, the expiry date will jump up to three years.

What ingredients are baby powder made of?

A baby powder can contain many elements. However, the basic ingredient that you’ll surely found in all baby powders is either talc or cornstarch. Talc is a mineral consisting of magnesium, oxygen, and silicon. Cornstarch comes from corn and is an organic compound.

What does a baby powder do? 

Baby powders are for absorbing moisture. Using them on nappy areas to keep the areas dry and free from any irritation is one of the common uses of baby powder. Even though other creams and ointments are getting popular day by day, powders are still the most affordable and easy-to-apply option. 

Final Words

Safety comes first. Never use any expired products even though they seem entirely okay in texture and smell. If you use any product beyond the expiry date, any consequence it brings will be on you, not the manufacturer. 

If you have more baby powders than you need, you can always give them away to someone in need. If they ask, does baby powder expire or not, you know what to tell them.  

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