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How long does deodorant last before it expires?

Does deodorant expire? Here's how long your deodorant should last

You’ve run out of deodorant, but know you have a half-used tube hiding somewhere at the bottom of your vanity ready to grab in an emergency. Maybe you bought a new product, thinking you didn’t have any, only to come across an old, unopened deo you’d forgotten. Or perhaps you have piles of deodorant waiting to be used.

The question is: how long does deodorant last – and does that figure depend on whether it’s an antiperspirant, a deodorant, or both? What if it’s already been opened? And what are the risks if you carry on using it after it’s expired? Luckily, we have all the answers.

Antiperspirants vs deodorants

Antiperspirants and deodorants are often seen as interchangeable, but they don’t work in the same way. As well as fragrance to keep you smelling fresh, antiperspirants like the Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick range contain aluminum.

This active ingredient creates microscopic gel plugs that physically block your sweat, keeping you feeling dry all day long. Because this ingredient has a safe, yet direct effect on your body it’s a regulated drug. That means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires these types of products to carry an expiration date. This will usually extend around two to three years past the date the antiperspirant was manufactured.

Going alu-free

If you’re using an aluminum-free deodorant, rather than an antiperspirant – such as Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Spray – it’s considered a cosmetic product rather than a medical one.

These products work by offering protection from odor (in Dove’s case, 48 whole hours of it after a single use), and a delicious dose of fragrance. As aluminum-free deodorants are classified as cosmetics, the FDA doesn’t require them to display an expiration date.

If you’re opting for a natural deodorant, be mindful that it may deteriorate even faster than a standard deodorant or antiperspirant. This is due to the fact that the oils contained in its formula can evaporate, so it’s best to not hold onto it for too long.

So can I use my deo after it’s expired?
If you use your chosen product beyond its expiry date, your antiperspirant or deodorant should be safe to use. It might lose some of its fragrance (which would be a shame if it’s a scent as irresistible as Orchid and Blackberry), but it should still work. If, however, you’ve opened your product, it’s advisable to throw it away after 12 months at most. So if you find an old stick in the bottom of your gym bag and are questioning whether it’s worth holding onto, it’s probably time to trade up.

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