Q. Why are expiry dates on natural products so short?

Any product that contains water will deteriorate over time. Because water is a breeding ground for bacteria. So preservatives become important to keep these creams and lotions safe for our use.

But, most preservatives are synthetic, and all can be considered dangerous, due to the very fact their sole purpose is to kill living organisms, bacteria, that exist to break down matter thus beginning the planet's recycling process.

Because preservatives rank highest on the lists of "nasty" ingredients in cosmetics and skincare, organic and natural formulators tend to favour the more gentle, naturally-occurring preservative molecules, and then use only minimal amounts. Just enough to keep a product safe for the duration of its shelf life.

The math is easy to calculate. The stronger the killing power of the preservative, the higher the volume of preservative in the formulation, the longer a product will last on the shelf and after opening.

So, if you have a product in your bathroom that has an expiry date 4 years into the future or has a graphic showing use-by 2 years after opening, you have to ask yourself why.

Organic and natural products will generally last 2 years after manufacture. Some more artisan brands will have a 12 month shelf life. While some products have a higher water content, such as toners, and therefore have a shorter shelf life than a night cream.

How do we manage?

Because of the low preservative levels and short shelf life of organic and natural products, we have a policy of buying in small batches, regularly. That way we have no ageing stock, and can offer you the freshest items with active ingredients at their most potent.

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