Period After Opening on skin care products: what is PAO?

How long can I keep my anti aging cream, face serum and other beauty products? It all depends on the PAO.

The lifespan of a cosmetic product: symbol and label

Unlike with food, there is no expiry date for cosmetics. However, on the back of our skin care products (or on the cardboard packaging), there is sometimes a little logo (an open pot of cream) with a number inside: 6M, 12M, 18M, etc. That is the PAO: Period After Opening. In other words, it is the ideal length of time we can use our skin care product once it has been opened.  The PAO was made compulsory by the European Union on 11 March 2015, and follows 2 rules:- It is obligatory on products that can be kept new for longer than 30 months (however, these are extremely rare).- For products that can be used for less than 30 months, the figure on the logo indicates the maximum duration during which the formula will preserve its initial properties.This is defined by a series of quality, safety and microbiological tests.

What is the best way to preserve skin care products?

Whether a cream or a face serum, some precautions may be taken to not oxidise the formula or texture.- Always close pots and bottles after use - Avoid exposing the products to sunlight - Avoid heat sources: radiators, at windows, in a beach bag, etc.  The Period After Opening is generally 12 months for creams and face serums and sun protection products. When closed, these products can be kept for up to 30 months. But only if kept in the conditions described above.