Vaseline is a common household item, primarily found in beauty products. If you have ever owned Vaseline, have you ever thought about how long it takes before the product goes bad or becomes less effective? Does Vaseline expire?
Technically no, Vaseline does not expire, given its petroleum base. However, there is an expiration date included with every Vaseline petroleum jelly product that you may want to follow, especially if your Vaseline has been regularly exposed to bacteria and fungus.
But how can you tell if Vaseline is expired, and what can you do to extend the life of your petroleum jelly through proper storage and care? In this article, we will endeavor to answer all of your questions regarding this popular product
Where is the Expiration Date Found on Vaseline?
The expiration date can be found on the back of the Vaseline container. There will likely be black letters, or it can be in blue lettering placed directly on the back label. While it may take you a moment to locate, the date should become clear once you know where to look.
How Do You Read the Expiration Date on Vaseline?
The expiration date on Vaseline can be difficult to read. However, most containers of Vaseline include an expiration date alongside a product code. The expiration date is often preceded by a one or a zero, and then immediately following this number will be the month, day, and then year that your Vaseline expires. However, it may be difficult to pick out at first!
Can You Tell if Vaseline is Expired?
It can be difficult to tell if your Vaseline has expired, primarily because it technically doesn’t. However, given that bacteria and fungus can accumulate inside of the container, you may want to pause and investigate your jar of Vaseline if it has been some time since you purchased it.
For example, checking the expiration date can be one way that you can tell if Vaseline is expired. If it is well past its best by date, then you may want to get a new container! You should also look closely at the product and see if you can notice anything that looks or smells off. Sometimes the nose knows best, after all!
Can Bacteria Grow in Vaseline?
Bacteria cannot grow in Vaseline without help. Many Vaseline owners dip their fingers inside of petroleum jelly products, and this is all that bacteria needs in order to grow. Even the most minute skin cells and germs can grow and multiply inside of a container of Vaseline, despite petroleum jelly’s natural resistance to it.
We’ll talk more about what you can do to properly use and store your Vaseline in a moment- a single container of petroleum jelly can last a decade or more if it never comes in contact with skin or hair cells!
What Happens if I Use Expired Vaseline?
Nothing is likely to happen to you if you use expired Vaseline. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution if you plan on using a container of petroleum jelly that is past its expiration date. If you know that your container of Vaseline has been touched with human fingers, you may want to get rid of your old jar and purchase a new one.
How to Properly Store Vaseline?
Not only should you plan on properly storing your Vaseline, you should also ensure that you use it properly as well. Petroleum jelly should be kept out of direct sunlight and stored in a cool or room temperature location. Do not keep Vaseline in a particularly moist environment, as this is likely to further the spread of any potential bacteria.
Speaking of bacteria, you should plan on using tools to remove the Vaseline from its container or jar, as using your fingers is likely to cause bacteria growth. You can use a spoon, Q-tip, and many other tools to remove the petroleum jelly without causing the spread of germs throughout your container.
Vaseline Types and Their Expiration
Curious to learn more about the different types of Vaseline and whether or not they expire? Let’s talk more about these specific products now!
The original Vaseline petroleum jelly has an expiration date included on the packaging. However, it is likely that this style of Vaseline does not expire, as it is pure petroleum jelly. So long as you use it with tools rather than your fingers, you can likely keep the same jar around for a decade!
Vaseline Lip Therapy, like its classic petroleum jelly counterpart, comes printed with an expiration date. This date is usually set for three years from product manufacturing. However, it is likely that this product will last longer than that, given the presence of petroleum jelly. Given that it directly touches lips and skin, it may be wise to use the product within three years. Your mouth and lips can be hosts to ample bacteria, so keep this in mind when using this product.
Does Vaseline Lotion Expire?
Much like its petroleum jelly counterparts, Vaseline Lotion comes printed with a best by date rather than a true expiration date. Given the unique dispenser, this lotion may last far longer than the expiration date claims, given that your skin and hair will not be in direct contact with the product. You can expect this product to last at least three years, if not longer.
The Vaseline Body Balm Sticks are similar to all of the other products listed here. It is made from pure petroleum jelly, and is likely to last much longer than its expiration date. However, given that it comes into direct contact with your skin, you may want to endeavor to use this product within three years. The opportunity for bacteria and other harmful microbes to exist on this product is much more possible than with other products.
Still curious to learn more about Vaseline and how petroleum jelly operates? Here are some frequently asked questions, all about Vaseline and petroleum jelly products!
Is Vaseline Considered Dangerous When Expired?
No, Vaseline is not considered dangerous when expired. Petroleum jelly doesn’t include any ingredients that can go bad and harm your body. However, if you happen to find a particularly old tub of petroleum jelly in the back of your medicine cabinet, you may want to minimize any potential risks by simply purchasing a new one.
It is possible to experience some dangers from bacteria that has potentially grown in your tub of Vaseline, but these dangers are usually very slight. You may experience mild skin irritation, but adults are unlikely to experience any severe complications.
What Should You Do if the Expiration Date is Not Visible?
There isn’t much you can do if the expiration date is not visible on your container of Vaseline. If you know when you purchased it, you can rest assured that the product is very likely safe for a long period of time. However, if you don’t know when your petroleum jelly was purchased or manufactured, you may be better off purchasing a new container entirely.
How Long After Opening Vaseline Should You Keep It?
In terms of how long you should keep Vaseline after opening it, it depends on how it is stored and used. For example, a properly stored container of petroleum jelly can be kept for years after opening, and even as long as a decade.
However, if your Vaseline was stored in a way that goes against what the manufacturer recommends, you may consider replacing it sooner rather than later. You should also keep in mind how you have been removing the petroleum jelly from its container. If you have been using alternative tools, such as spoons or cotton swabs, your Vaseline will last far longer than if you have been using your fingers.
Does Unopened Vaseline Last Longer?
Yes, unopened Vaseline lasts longer than opened Vaseline. Even if your unopened Vaseline is past its expiration date, you can still use it for years to come. This is because petroleum jelly technically never expires, given the chemical components and makeup of the product. However, you may want to consider purchasing a new unopened container of petroleum jelly if you are a decade or more past the expiration date.
How Long Does Petroleum Jelly Last on Skin?
Petroleum jelly can last for some time on skin. Some varieties or products even claim that Vaseline can last up to 24 hours as a skin moisturizer and protective barrier. However, everyone’s body is different and people will experience dry skin at different rates. It also depends on how often you bathe or if you sweat, as this can affect the overall performance of petroleum jelly.
Vaseline can be a fantastic moisturizer for your skin, but it can also be too greasy for some people. Many petroleum jelly products recommend testing the jelly out on a small patch of skin before committing to anything larger. This can also give you a good idea for how long Vaseline may last while on your skin!
The Verdict – So, Does Vaseline Go Bad?
Depending on the Vaseline product that you have, you may not have to worry about your petroleum jelly expiring. However, touching Vaseline with your bare hands and any other potentially unclean item can lead to the growth of bacteria or germs in your petroleum jelly. If you think that your Vaseline has been negatively affected in this way, it’s best for you to start over again with a new product!
Related Article: 5 Easy Ways to get Vaseline Out of Clothes
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.