Whether it’s food or beauty products, one thing we always question is the expiration date. To this day, most of us are confused if expiration dates actually mean something or if it’s just a regulation or marketing tactic to get us to buy more.
What is true is that some beauty products have a longer shelf life than others. For example, mascara can only last a few months because it can dry out, and it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria. Powders, on the other hand, can stay for much longer.
Well, what about skincare? Skincare can also be tricky because no one wants to irritate their skin with outdated chemicals. However, natural products like bentonite clay are always questioned if they are safe to use even when past the due date.
Does bentonite clay expire? Bentonite Clay does expire. Unopened clay will last up to 1-2 years, while opened clay stored properly will last from 6 months to a year. Using expired bentonite clay can lead to skin irritation and clogging of pores.
However, that’s what we are here for – to do a deep dive on the mysteries of bentonite clay and how long it can last on your vanities. Bentonite clay is considered a more natural product compared to other skincare items, so let’s find out the truth!
What Is Bentonite Clay?
For starters, what is Bentonite Clay? This clay is a common skincare ingredient or product that draws out toxins from the skin. In addition, this particular clay is even suitable for dry and sensitive skin types.
According to Healthline, “Calcium bentonite clay is an absorbent kind of clay that typically forms after volcanic ash ages … This clay has a unique composition and can absorb negatively charged toxins as a way to detoxify the body.”
Bentonite clay has been found to offer countless health benefits. While most evidence is anecdotal, people for centuries have reaped the benefits from bentonite clay both internally and externally. This clay has been known to detoxify and protect.
In addition, it is known to offer the skin various advantages like protecting the skin barrier. This clay will create a layer of protection so external factors like pollutants, chemicals, pesticides, and more won’t irritate or damage the skin.
Healthline also states that “Bentonite Clay also helps skincare products adhere to your skin and be more water-resistant. Sunscreen that contains bentonite clay has been found to be more effective than other sunscreens without it.”
Overall, bentonite clay is a potent natural clay that is versatile. It can be used to treat multiple issues, whether it’s internally for medical purposes or externally for cosmetics and aesthetics.
How Do You Use Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay has been used for centuries to treat virtually almost any concern. From skin to hair to digestion, people have found a way to aid themselves with the help of bentonite clay. Even today, multiple beauty products contain this clay.
One of the most common uses for bentonite clay today is in a face mask. Clay masks are a necessary component of any spa day, and it’s for a good reason too. Bentonite clay will instantly draw out dirt, toxins, and excess oil from the skin.
In addition, most clay masks like charcoal can be too stripping for the skin. However, Bentonite Clay is much more hydrating, and it’s suitable for even dry and sensitive skin types. You can unveil fresh and purified skin within minutes.
Surprisingly enough, your hair can also gain some benefits from using bentonite clay. Most people will use this clay as a hair mask to keep their ends hydrated and free of any nasty irritants. It’s a great treatment every once in a while for the hair.
Most health food stores also sell bentonite clay to eat. As stated earlier, it can draw out aluminum, mercury, lead, and other toxins from the body. This clay can even allow you to absorb more nutrients your body needs. It also contains minerals such as iron and copper.
In addition, bentonite clay is commonly used to treat various digestion issues like IBS. Overall, bentonite clay will combat and draw out bacteria, whether internally from your gut or externally, when applied to the skin.
Does Bentonite Clay Expire?
Like all cosmetic products, bentonite clay also has an expiration date. While it is a more natural product, it could be used after the expiration date, but it will depend on several factors.
For starters, clay masks can be formulated with exfoliating acids like AHA and BHA, which can also expire and increase the risk for skin irritation. Additionally, pure bentonite clay can still “expire,” but it may not pose as much a threat.
However, clay masks such as bentonite clay have a longer shelf life than other skincare products. In addition, they have indicators that show you the clay is way past its expiration date.
For example, if your bentonite clay dries out, it can occasionally be brought back to life with water, but this is usually the first sign that it is about to go bad. Other indicators include a change in the color of the clay and a pungent or rancid smell.
In addition, there are a few ways to care for your clay to make it last before it expires. Using a BPA-free plastic container that seals shut is an excellent way to prevent the clay from drying out. Also, store it in a cool, dry place with easy access.
How Long Does Bentonite Clay Last?
As mentioned earlier, clay masks like bentonite clay have a longer shelf life than most other cosmetic products. With the proper care, bentonite clay can last until its expiration date. You might even be able to keep unopened products for longer.
On average, bentonite clay masks can last for about six months to one year when it’s opened. Depending on what other ingredients are formulated within your bentonite clay mask will also alter and determine the shelf life of the clay.
Is It Safe To Use After The Expiration Date?
Everyone’s skin has varying sensitivity levels, and every bentonite clay product can be formulated with drastically different ingredients. So, it will very much depend on your skin and the product you choose to use.
One of the most effective ways to determine if bentonite clay is still safe to use is by conducting a patch test. A patch test will tell you if you are sensitive or allergic to a product.
Also, follow other indicators like dryness, smell, and color changes to determine if bentonite clay is still safe to use. Pure bentonite clay without any additives or extra ingredients will most likely last longer than an expiration date.
However, you should still proceed with caution. For example, if you have a bentonite clay mask formulated with exfoliating acids or other components, it may be best to toss out the clay when it expires to avoid causing harm to the skin.
Overall, the best piece of advice is to conduct your own research, analyze your bentonite clay, and determine your skin sensitivity levels to see if it’s safe to use expired bentonite clay.
Risks Of Using Expired Bentonite Clay
Unfortunately, unless you aren’t prone to sensitive skin or have a pure form of Bentonite Clay, there are some risks to be aware of if you use expired clay. So, before you apply or ingest any expired Bentonite Clay, let’s look at the stakes.
When you apply expired bentonite clay to the skin, you can develop various skin irritations. For example, you can clog your pores, leading to acne, whiteheads, or blackheads.
In addition, you can damage your skin barrier, which can lead to redness, burning, itching, dryness, flaking, and more. When applied topically to the skin, expired bentonite clay may not be the most brilliant idea, and it can cause more harm than good.
Also, eating or ingesting expired bentonite clay can come with risks. Even when the clay is fresh, it’s possible to consume too much bentonite clay.
According to Healthline, “ There have been some cases of people getting sick from consuming too much bentonite clay, but these cases are very rare with normal use.”
So, if you can potentially get sick from consuming bentonite clay when it’s perfectly fresh and in check, so it can pose even more of a risk if it expires. On the other hand, no one wants to disrupt their tummy on purpose, so why even give it a chance?
Overall, expired bentonite clay is okay to use in some cases when it’s in its purest form. However, when you see the makeup of your clay start to change or it reaches the expiration date, it’s best to toss it.