does nail polish expire

Does Nail Polish Expire?

Inventing nail polish is one of the best things that ever happened to the beauty industry. Nearly every single woman is familiar with nail polishes, either by using or watching others apply them. There are other uses of nail polish too. Does nail polish expired?

Does Nail Polish Expire?

Yes, nail polish does expire, but that shouldn’t be a concern. It will last indefinitely if left unopened. Opened nail polish will last 24 months while gel nail polish can have an extended shelf life to 3 years.

Always check the label on each bottle of nail polish because some manufacturers indicate the shelf life.

Generally, most nail polish do not expire or deteriorate in a way that expiration or spoiling of products are traditionally thought of.

I normally recommend checking the label of your nail polishes to ensure that you have accurate information about the expiration date of the product.

What is the shelf life of nail polish? That could be dependent on different factors. Bottles that have been opened after approximately two years. They can last indefinitely if they are not opened, according to Annette Soboleski, a nail technician with the company that makes the polish.

Most of the time, you can find it on the label, along with the number of months that it will be good for at that time. The packaging and the brand, on the other hand, are critical considerations.

Why Nail Polish Does Not Expire

Nail polish does not expire because the major chemicals in most polishes tend to be relatively stable compounds that are also naturally antibacterial. So, the products will have longer shelf lives.

Shelf Life of Unopened Nail Polish

In most cases, unopened nail polish bottles remain virtually usable indefinitely; however, this is dependent on the kind of polish used and you should always read labels on each bottle to be certain of how long the nail polish will last.

However, on average, most nail polish brands recommend that you discard unsealed bottles in the following scenarios:

  • Regular nail polish has lasted >24 months.
  • Gel nail polish has lasted >36 months.

These are averages, and you should always check the label of your polish for specific directions.

How to Tell if Your Nail Polish has Gone Bad or Expired

1. Check the labels on your nail polishes

Checking the label of your polish is the most reliable method to determine whether or not it is safe to use.

Most nail polishes would have a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol on them, such as 12m, 18m, or 24m, where the m stands for months and the number symbolizes the number of months left after the polish has been opened.

In this case, 18m indicates that your polish has been tested and found to be safe to use 18 months after you have opened the bottle.

These numbers show the length of time that the polish has been evaluated to be safe to use after it has been opened; they are a mechanism for nail companies to protect themselves legally against potential litigation.

You should take note of what they are saying when they say that they will not be held liable if you use the polish after the period of time specified on the label.

You should be aware that if you decide to go against the label’s wishes, you won’t have the option of suing them in the event that something goes wrong.

2. Examine the color of the nail polish

If your nail polish has changed color since it was purchased, you should consider tossing it away. However, if you have the time, you should consider attempting to revive it. Continue reading to learn how to revive nail polish that has changed color.

Here is what happens to your polish that has been stored for an extended period of time. The dyes in the polish have a tendency to separate from the mixture, resulting in an uneven hue.

how to tell if nail polish has gone bad

If you notice that the polish is clumpy and thicker than usual, then that could be a strong indication that the polish is no longer effective.

A clumpy and very thick polish is much more difficult to apply the polish evenly.

Gel polishes are difficult to distinguish from one another since they are contained inside opaque bottles, making it impossible to know if the color and texture are different simply by glancing at them.

Instead, go ahead and apply the polish on a fake nail to get a feel for the color and texture before purchasing the polish.

3. Tell expiry by smell of nail polish

A strong, unpleasant scent that deviates from the way polish normally smells is the last clue that it has gone bad and needs to be thrown away.

This is something I have never experienced before, but it is a possibility.

A strong bad smell could indicate one of two things:

  1. Bacterial growth has occurred in water base polishes and gel polishes due to the fact that they do not contain significant levels of ethyl acetate, which is a natural antibacterial solution.
  2. Chemical Reaction has happened. This can occur if the polishes’ formula has degraded or is contaminated, which results in a reaction that produces an unpleasant smell.

If your nail paints have a terrible odor, I recommend that you toss them away because these polishes cannot be reactivated.

Can You Use Nail Polish That Has Separated?

Yes, you can use nail polish that has separated. Product development team member Stephanie Bruno says that polish usually separates because the colorants, which are pigmented particles suspended in the mixture, have different weights and hence separate at different times.

Over time, the heavier ones will begin settling to the bottom of the container, but rotating the bottle between your hands will sufficiently mix them for consumption.

Nail Polish Shelf Life in the EU

There are compounds in nail polish, and it is crucial to understand how long these chemicals will remain “stable” “before they eventually react with each other. Regulations on nail polishes and “Stability” are in place in the EU and manufacturers must pass a test before selling their products.

However, the most significant issue that all nail polishes face is that their mixture has a tendency to settle and separate after being stored for an extended period of time.

The separation of the nail polish combination makes it more difficult to restore the mixture to its former state and color after it has undergone separation.

How Do You Store Nail Polish to Make it Last Long?

Remark Cosmetics recommends storing your nail polishes in a dark place, dry location such as a cabinet or a drawer to ensure they remain in peak condition. “Excessive light or heat can change the composition of the lacquer and lighten the pigments,” says the manufacturer. 

Another rule of thumb for bottle maintenance is to wipe the mouth of the bottle clean after each use with a small amount of nail polish remover after each usage.

Otherwise, polish can quickly accumulate and prevent the lid from entirely sealing, allowing air to enter and thicken the polish. This allows air to enter and thicken the polish.