How To Tell If Your Vitamin C Has Expired

Model holding Much Brighter Skin

For all it’s many (many!) skin care benefits, Vitamin C also has quite the reputation for being, well, unstable and oxidising. 

And while all the glow, antioxidant defence, and evening out skin tone is most certainly worth it, it’s important that you stay well on top of whether or not your Vitamin C has expired. So! Like the generous geese we are, we’re going to help you do just that and ensure you’re reaping all the benefits we keep banging on about. 

First, is there any way to stop your Vitamin C going off? 

Not really. Your favourite Vitamin C - along with all of your other beauty products - will have an expiration date. There’s no getting around that. 

What you can do is store your product as instructed (in most cases this will be in a cool, dark place, far away from sunlight, but have a squiz at your products to see if they note anything specific) and use it up within the time period.

Okay! How Can I Tell If My Vitamin C Has Expired?

There are a few ways to make sure what you’re using is still lovely and fresh. Here’s what we recommend you keep an eye out for.

  1. Check The Colour 

A classic telltale sign of expired or oxidised Vitamin C is a change in colour. If you’ve spied that your once clear or light yellow serum is now looking a little deeper, or has changed shades entirely, you can take this as a pretty clear indication that your product has oxidised. Annoyingly this can mean it won’t serve up the same skin-savey antioxidant benefits you’re after so it’s probably time to switch over to something fresh and ensure your skin is getting the protection it deserves.

  1. Take Note Of The Expiry Date

A blindingly obvious one, perhaps, but with a million things on our minds (Work! Dinner! Whatever the hell is happening on And Just Like That!) many of us forget to check the expiry dates of our beauty products. And due to its volatile nature, Vitamin C will likely have a shorter shelf life than the rest of your face favourites, so it’s crucial that you stay on top of it. There will be slight variations between different brands, products, and formulas, so the best thing to do it have a peek at the bottle and note down the expiry date in your calendar right away so you couldn’t possibly forget about it.

(Pssst.. If you’re a Much Brighter Skin user-er: Please use it all within six months of opening.)

  1. Smell It! 

Just like the colour, an expired Vitamin C can start to smell different than the product you know, love, and rely on for radiant skin. So, if you’re questioning your Vitamin C, have a whiff and see if it smells different. 

Important note! While our Vitamin C serum Much Brighter Skin smells like summer and fresh flowers (you’re welcome), there are lots of Vitamin C products that do have a very.. distinct scent (it’s often likened to hotdog water) (unfortunately I’m serious). So, remember: You’re not necessarily looking for an unusual smell, you’re looking to see whether the smell has changed since you’ve started using it.

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