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  /  Business & Marketing   /  Beauty products don’t last forever

Beauty products don’t last forever

Educate your clients and sell more product at the same time, because they can’t hold onto or hoard these products!

It’s a touch hard to find, but on many cosmetics and beauty products there is something called a PAO date, which means a point after opening date.

The PAO date, depicted atop an open jar, tells you how long the product will remain effective once it is opened or unsealed. The clock doesn’t start ticking on the PAO until it is unsealed.

PAO dates don’t appear on samples, and are also omitted on some other products. Sometimes the PAO is really, really small. Typically, the symbol includes a number and then an “M”. This stands for months. Common values include 6 months (saw this on foundation and mascara) and the longest we’ve seen is 36 months (saw this on eye shadow).

According to the FDA, manufacturers don’t always have to include a PAO.

Shorter PAO’s are found on mascara and eye products. Mascara should also be thrown away if they ever dry up. Natural and organic beauty products have shorter shelf lives than those containing preservatives. A premium lipstick may have quite a long PAO.

Educate your clients about the PAO, so they know when they should replace the product. At the same time, you can mark in your notes when they are due for a product replacement, so you can gently remind them when you see them.

The FDA FAQ sheet on expiration can be found at this link: https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/ExpirationDating/default.htm

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