what is pao

The period after opening refers to the amount of time that elapses between the moment you open a product and the first use of it. This time varies depending on the type of product and how it was stored.

Period After Opening on skincare products

PAO means period after opening

If you store your products properly, you should see no difference in the effectiveness of your products after the initial opening. However, some products will lose their potency faster than others.

Products that are exposed to light, heat, moisture, or oxygen will lose their potency much quicker than those kept in a cool, dark space. For instance, if you store your products in an airtight container, they will last longer than those stored in a plastic bag.

The best way to ensure that your products remain potent is to keep them in a cool, dark place. You can use a refrigerator, freezer, or even a closet. Just be sure to rotate your products regularly.


Period After Opening on skincare products


What is the time frame during which a product will remain effective?

PAO refers to the period of time after opening where a product loses its potency. It varies by product type and storage method. For example, toners with alcohol tend to lose their effectiveness more quickly than those without alcohol.

Products with PAOs range from two weeks to one year. If you want to use a product past its expiration date, you should store it properly. Store your products at room temperature away from sunlight, humidity and heat sources. All skincare products should be stored in a cool, dark place.

When you purchase a new product, check the label to see if there is a PAO listed. If there isn’t, please do NOT assume that the product has been formulated to last longer than one month. Either contact the producer or select another alternative product with a PAO on it. And, if you notice that the product’s expiration date has passed, you should discard it immediately.


Why PAO is important in selecting a skincare product?

If you’re looking for a new moisturizer, make sure to choose one that has a PAO of at least six months. That means it will still work well even after you open it up!

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that products with a PAO of at most three months were less likely to be effective than those with a PAO of six months or more.

Products with a PAO of three months or less are less likely to work because they contain ingredients that break down quickly. These include preservatives, fragrances, and other chemicals that can cause irritation.

The ACCC’s survey found that 68% of people discontinue the use of their skincare products only after they have run out, not when the products have expired. This practice is concerning because it may lead to serious skin irritations and other issues.


What is the best way to keep skincare products?

Whether a moisturizer, face serum or an eye cream, you can take some precautions to ensure your skincare product works with its top efficiency. The Period After Opening is generally 12 months for moisturizers, face serums and related products. When kept closed, these products can be kept for up to around 24 months but only if kept in the conditions described below.

– Always close jars and bottles after use and do not let water or humidity get in the products.

– Avoid exposing your products to sunlight which breaks down the integrity of the products.

– Avoid heat sources such as on or near radiators, keeping it in front of a window, in a hot car or leaving it in a beach bag, etc.

– Wash your hands before using the products and use a spatula to take the product out of its jar.


Keeping Your Skincare Fresh and not to Expire them Before their PAO: A Personal Guide

When it comes to making the most out of our skincare treasures, there’s a bit more to it than just slathering them on and hoping for the best. Let me share some personal tips on how to keep your beloved products in tip-top shape:

1. Hands Off, Please: Dipping fingers into creams and serums is a no-go. Why? It’s like inviting bacteria to a party where they don’t belong. Before you touch your skincare, give your hands a good wash to keep everything nice and clean. This is why we offer stainless steel spatulas with our AGELESS PERFECTION CREAM and HONEYACTIVE BEAUTY MASK.

2. Find the Sweet Spot: Your skincare has a comfort zone, temperature-wise. Too hot or too cold, and it starts to feel a bit under the weather, affecting its performance. Keeping it in a cool, stable environment is key.

3. Cleanliness is Next to…: Well, good skincare. Applicators and brushes can turn into tiny bacteria buses if not cleaned regularly. So, after each use, give them a little spa day of their own to keep your skincare routine safe and effective.

4. Steer Clear of the Sun: Just like us, our skincare doesn’t fancy too much sunbathing. Direct sunlight and moisture can make products go bad faster, changing their texture and scent. A cool, dry spot away from windows is their happy place.

Taking these steps not only helps your products not to expire before their PAO but also ensures they’re safe and effective for your skin. It’s all about loving and caring for your skincare just as much as it cares for you.


What about PAO and Make Up Products?

Period After Opening on makeup products

In 2013, an investigation detailed in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science took a close look at the beauty practices of 44 women, ages 18 to 28. The findings raised more than a few eyebrows: 70% of these women were using expired makeup products, particularly in the category of eye makeup like mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow.

Using expired makeup, especially around the sensitive eye area, is concerning for several reasons and making PAO very important. Over time, makeup can harbor harmful bacteria and fungi, which, when applied, can lead to skin irritation, infections, and more serious eye issues. The risk is especially pronounced with products applied close to the eye, an area more susceptible to infections. Additionally, expired makeup can break down and change in texture, color, and efficacy, leading to subpar performance and potentially unsightly results.

Please do not use makeup products that are over the PAO.

Brief Guide For PAO and Expiration Date

Here is our brief cheat sheet on how long the products will remain effective before and after opening (PAO). Please note that you need to pay attention to the PAO and expiration dates noted on your products.

Guide For PAO and Expiration Date skincare

Why PAO is Critical in Preventing Skin Irritation and Sensitivities?

The Period After Opening (PAO) is critical in preventing skin irritation and sensitivities for several reasons:

Degradation of Active Ingredients: Active ingredients in skincare products can degrade over time, losing their efficacy. This degradation can lead to skin irritation or the exacerbation of skin conditions if the product no longer performs as intended. For instance, expired sunscreen may not provide adequate UV protection, increasing the risk of sunburn and related skin damage.

Preservative Effectiveness: Skincare and cosmetic products contain preservatives to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. Once these preservatives expire or their effectiveness diminishes after the PAO, products can become contaminated. Using contaminated products can lead to infections, irritations, and allergic reactions.

Chemical Changes: Over time, chemical changes can occur in skincare products, especially after exposure to air, light, or heat. These changes can produce new compounds that may be irritating to the skin or cause allergic reactions, particularly in sensitive individuals.

Contamination with Use: Each time a product is used, it’s exposed to contaminants from the skin, air, or applicators, which can proliferate if the product is used beyond its PAO. This increases the risk of skin irritation or infection upon subsequent applications.

What happens if you use Expired Skincare Products?

Using expired skincare products can have several negative effects on the skin:

  • Infections: Bacterial or fungal contaminants can cause skin infections, characterized by redness, swelling, and pain.
  • Irritations: Chemical changes or degradation of ingredients can irritate the skin, leading to redness, itching, or rash.
  • Allergic Reactions: New compounds formed through degradation or contamination may trigger allergic reactions, resulting in symptoms like itching, hives, or dermatitis.
  • Acne Breakouts: Contaminated products can clog pores and promote the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
  • Reduced Effectiveness: Expired products may not perform, leading to inadequate treatment of skin conditions or insufficient protection from environmental factors.

What about our PAO?

On the back of our skincare products on the cardboard packaging, you will see this jar sign – the PAO sign (Period After Opening). The PAO was made compulsory by the European Union on 11 March 2015.

On top of this, all our products go through serious testing period and Dermatologist approval so your skin could enjoy the healthiest and most effective formulas.


Scientific References


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