Does Aftershave Expire?




Does Aftershave Expire

Using Aftershave has always been a good ritual to perform in your after-shaving skincare regimen. From lotions, perfumes, sanitizers, and balm to any long-lasting scent that you apply keep the skin fresh and healthy after shaving.

Like every product, aftershave also loses strength or gives strange, sour smells with the passing of time. However, is this due to expiration? Can aftershave expire?

Yes, aftershave can expire, however they can last for between 6 months and 5 years before expiration depending on the ingredients and how it is stored. However, the fragrance normally diminishes over time. If it contains alcohol, it may be preserved for a very long time. 

Can I use expired aftershave?

We do not recommend using expired aftershave because there may be some ingredients that may not interact favorably with your skin.

Let’s get into more detail about why aftershave expires and if you can still use it if you are adamant about it.

Why Does Aftershave Expire?

Any aftershave you choose will have a certain shelf-life up until when you can use it safely as a guarantee from the manufacturer.

Why Does Aftershave Expire

But once that shelf-life has passed, that indicates that your aftershave has expired. Several after-shaves present in the market have a specific expiry date written on them and you are often officially advised not to use the product once expired.

While the perfume you’ve been using for decades is all fresh and strong, the newly-bought balm may lose its fragrance in as little as a year.

Aftershave Lifespan

Situations like this are due to the different ingredients used in aftershave that decide the life-span and effect of the products on application.Aftershave Lifespan

Normally, aftershave with strong aromatic flavors is more likely to be effective for longer than weak or no-odor aftershaves. Also, volatile aftershaves when left open can lose fragrance regardless of the expiry date.

However, the presence of the below-mentioned ingredients in your aftershave can decrease its life in terms of scent and effect to 12-24 months:

  1. Alcohol
  2. High Water content
  3. Preservatives
  4. Glycolic acid
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Benzoyl peroxide
  7. Fats

To find out more on aftershave expiry, check out our article on how long does aftershave last.

Effects Of Using Expired Aftershave

Can I use expired aftershave? Once expired, quickly dump the existing aftershave and buy another quality one with a longer shelf life.

If you use expired aftershave, some of the ingredients may react with oxygen or break down to invite bacteria and other fungal growth, making the product terrible for your skin.

Whatever the case is, applying expired aftershave to your skin can lead to severe skin issues:

  • Sensitive skin types can instantly experience severe irritation or itchiness on applying expired after-shave.
  • The growth of bacteria in expired aftershave (if all the alcohol has diminished or it wasn’t alcohol-based) can cause serious skin infections, inflamed skin, or acne.
  • Some after-shaves cause a warm sensation on the application after expiration, causing harsh skin redness or painful blisters.
  • Applying bad aftershave on your skin with nicks and cuts can make them worse and cause a burning sensation. You shouldn’t play with shaving cuts as they can be dangerous.

Signs Of Aftershave Expiration

Many visible signs may indicate aftershave expiration. However, it varies according to the aftershave.

Likewise, here are the common signs of 3 popular aftershave products to keep a check on them while using.

For perfume aftershaves: 

  • Darker color than its original color
  • The bad or unusual vinegary smell
  • Weak or no effect on applying

For lotion aftershaves: 

  • Less effective
  • Liquid consistency
  • Unusual color
  • Putrid smell

For balm aftershaves:

  • Un pleasant scent
  • Bacteria growth
  • Bad consistency
  • Filthy smell

You can also check out our article on aftershave lotion vs balm to learn more.

If you decide to use expired aftershave, you should give it a good shake beforehand. If your aftershave has been left undisturbed for years, some separation might have occurred.

Tips To Extend The Life Of Aftershave

It’s natural for aftershave to expire after a specified time frame. But there are ways through which you can extend the shelf-life of your aftershave. Here they are:

  • Store your aftershave at low temperatures with less exposure to heat and light
  • Don’t leave the lids open for a long time as aftershave will lose its fragrance just like perfumes and sanitizers
  • Look for ingredients like shea butter, hazel, chamomile, and glycerin when buying aftershave.
  • Of course, natural after-shaves including Aloe vera, and an essential oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or tea tree oil will expire sooner.
  • Due to the high volatility of artificial fragrances; it’s normally recommended to pick aftershave that contains natural fragrances. However, natural fragrances expire faster. For example, many creed aftershaves use natural and synthetic ingredients. The natural ingredients will cause them to expire faster. This is also why creed aftershaves are so expensive. Check out our article where we explain why creed aftershaves are so expensive.

Does Expensive Aftershave Last Longer?

Research shows that expensive aftershave or perfume tends to have a longer lifespan than most cheaper options.

This is mostly due to the levels of scent notes in more expensive perfumes. However, it could also just be due to the components involved in the product.

Does Aftershave Go Off if Not Opened?

An unopened bottle of fragrance or aftershave can last between 12 and 18 months. But a light-scented one may begin turning sour sooner than the estimated period.

What To Do With Expired Aftershave?

If you have an expired aftershave, don’t use it on your face again because it has dangerous effects.

The best way to utilize it once it expires is by using it as a room freshener.

You can spray it all over your room or steam it and spread the fragrance all over your house.


As every good thing comes to an end, your aftershave will go one day. Normally, aftershave lasts up to 6 months to 5 years depending on its ingredients. Therefore, choose the most long-lasting and quality aftershave so that you can make the best use of it before expiration.

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