CeraVe moisturizers have become a staple in many people’s skincare routines. With their ability to hydrate, nourish and repair the skin barrier, it’s no wonder these products have gained such popularity. However, a common question remains – just how long does an opened or unopened CeraVe moisturizer last before it expires?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the shelf life and expiration of CeraVe moisturizers. We’ll provide tips on how to prolong the life of your product, as well as signs that your moisturizer has gone bad. Read on for the complete guide on maximizing the longevity of your CeraVe moisturizer!
Introduction to CeraVe Moisturizers
CeraVe offers a range of moisturizers formulated with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help restore the skin’s protective barrier. Unlike many other moisturizers that only sit on the skin’s surface, CeraVe products are designed to penetrate deeper and provide hydration where your skin needs it most.
Some of their most popular face and body moisturizers include:
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – a rich, fragrance-free moisturizer that provides 24-hour hydration.
- CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – a lightweight night cream with niacinamide to calm skin and improve texture.
- CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream – a luxurious, anti-aging night cream with peptides to hydrate and soften fine lines.
- CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion – a lightweight lotion that hydrates without feeling greasy. Great for normal to oily skin.
No matter which CeraVe moisturizer you choose, properly storing it is key to maintaining its effectiveness and extending its shelf life.
How Long Does Unopened CeraVe Moisturizer Last?
Let’s start with an unopened CeraVe moisturizer in its original packaging. With proper storage, the product should remain fresh for a remarkably long time.
According to CeraVe, their moisturizers have a shelf life of three years when sealed in their original containers. This shelf life timeline assumes the product is stored correctly away from excess heat, moisture and direct sunlight.
Some users have reported CeraVe moisturizers lasting even longer – up to 5 years when completely unopened and kept in ideal conditions. However, it’s best to use the 3 year timeline as a general guideline.
The expiration date printed on CeraVe products also factors in the 3 year shelf life. This date tells you the last day the moisturizer is expected to be good before opening.
Of course, realistically the product may last a bit longer or shorter than the precise expiration date depending on storage. But you can rely on it as an accurate estimate.
Extending the Shelf Life of Unopened CeraVe Moisturizers
To get the maximum shelf life from your unopened CeraVe moisturizer, be sure to store it correctly:
- Keep it in a cool, dry place away from excess heat and moisture. The bathroom is often too warm and humid! Instead, store it in a bedroom or kitchen cabinet.
- Avoid keeping it somewhere that reaches high temperatures, like a hot garage or car. Heat can accelerate ingredient breakdown.
- Keep the product away from direct sunlight, which can also degrade the beneficial ingredients.
- Only open the moisturizer when you are ready to start using it. Leaving it sealed preserves freshness.
- Check expiration dates and don’t over-stock moisturizer. Use oldest products first before they expire.
- Consider refrigerating soon-to-expire moisturizers to prolong their shelf life a bit longer.
Follow these simple guidelines and your unopened CeraVe moisturizer can easily last for 3 years from the manufactured date!
How Long Does CeraVe Moisturizer Last After Opening?
Once you’ve broken the seal and opened your CeraVe moisturizer, the clock starts ticking a bit faster. Opened products have a shorter shelf life.
According to most experts, an opened CeraVe moisturizer will last 6-12 months. However, several factors affect how long it stays fresh:
- Storage conditions – Keeping it in a cool, dry place extends longevity. High heat and humidity shorten it.
- Frequency of use – Products used daily expire quicker than those used occasionally. Frequent exposure to air and contaminants speeds deterioration.
- Use of hands vs. tools – Using clean hands each time preserves the product better than using a dirty applicator.
- Proper sealing – Always screw the lid tightly to prevent air exposure between uses.
With ideal storage and careful use, you may get closer to 12 months of use from an opened CeraVe moisturizer. Just be sure to watch for signs it’s expiring…
Signs Your Opened CeraVe Moisturizer Has Gone Bad
How can you tell when your previously fresh CeraVe moisturizer has gone past its prime? Here are the top signs your opened moisturizer has expired:
- Change in texture – Separating, clumping, or very thin or watery consistency.
- Change in smell – Unpleasant or sour odor.
- Change in color – Unnatural darkening or discoloration.
- Irritation – Burning, stinging or redness after application.
- Decreased effectiveness – Feels like it stops moisturizing or soothing your skin.
- Packaging cracks – Dried out, cracked or warped container.
- Expiration date passed – Especially if 6-12 months past opening date.
When you notice any of these changes, it’s time to replace your CeraVe moisturizer with a fresh product. Using expired moisturizer not only reduces effectiveness, but could lead to skin irritation or breakouts.
Proper Storage for Maximizing Shelf Life
Now that we’ve covered how long CeraVe moisturizers last opened and unopened, let’s talk about storage tips to help maximize shelf life after opening:
- Store in a cool, dark place like a bedside drawer or medicine cabinet. Avoid steamy bathrooms!
- Screw lid on tightly after each use to limit air exposure.
- Do not use if expiry date has passed, even if product looks ok. The ingredients may have destabilized.
- Avoid contaminating the product by only using clean hands and tools each time. Never “double dip”!
- Consider moving product to the refrigerator halfway through expected shelf life to prolong it. Remove 15 minutes before use.
- Transfer to smaller container if not using quickly. Less air will degrade less product.
- Clean container thoroughly before refilling with new moisturizer to prevent contamination.
With air-tight storage and limited exposure to air, heat and contaminants, you can maximize the lifespan of your CeraVe moisturizer after opening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use moisturizer after the expiration date?
It’s not recommended. While an expired product likely won’t make you sick right away, its ingredients and effectiveness can no longer be guaranteed by the manufacturer once past expiry. It’s better to err on the side of caution and purchase a new moisturizer.
How often should CeraVe moisturizer be replaced?
On average, CeraVe moisturizers should be replaced every 6-12 months after opening. Write the opened date on your moisturizer with marker to keep track! Even if it looks ok, its ingredients and effects weaken over time.
Can I use CeraVe past the “12M” symbol?
No, the “12M” indicates the product should be used within 12 months of opening. The number varies by product, but indicates the manufacturer’s recommended window of use. Don’t use past this timeframe.
Does CeraVe moisturizer expire if not used every day?
Less frequent use can extend the opened shelf life slightly, but it should still be replaced within 12 months. Exposure to air whenever opened slowly degrades the ingredients and effects over time.
Is it ok to use expired moisturizer on body but not face?
It’s best not to use expired CeraVe moisturizer anywhere. Even if you don’t break out on your body, the ingredients are no longer guaranteed effective or non-irritating. It’s safest to replace it entirely.
The Bottom Line
To summarize, an unopened CeraVe moisturizer typically lasts 3 years from the manufactured date. Once opened, it lasts approximately 6-12 months with proper storage and limited contamination.
Be sure to keep your CeraVe moisturizer sealed in a cool, dry place away from direct light and only open when using it. Watch for changes in smell, texture, appearance and effectiveness to determine if your moisturizer has expired. And replace opened products around the 12 month mark for the best results!
With this guide, you can keep your CeraVe in optimal condition and get the most out of every bottle or container. Just be diligent about storage, sanitation and expiration dates. Your skin will thank you by absorbing the maximum benefits from this dermatologist-trusted moisturizer brand.