Another favorite product being discontinued - why do they keep doing this to us?

edited August 2016 in Ask the Beauty Brains
Hi everyone. Guys I am hoping for your expert opinion on a product I just discovered a month ago and have had amazing results with. Here is the ingredient list: Water/Eau, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Aminomethyl Propanol, Lactic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Allantoin, Cellulose, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Xanthan Gum, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Cellulose Gum, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract. It's a daily exfoliating serum that I have been using nightly before my retin A. I can't believe how soft my skin feels, how my pores are appearing (weasel word) less clogged and reduced (another weasel word) in size. I swear I'm not getting as oily during the day either. So what's the problem? Just as soon as I have found my holy grail I've discovered it'd being discontinued! In a knee jerk reaction I have purchased the last 6 bottles on the shelf luckily on deep discount. At my current rate of use I expect a bottle to last 3 months. An online lot checker tells me they were manufactured October 2014 which gives me approx 14 months to use them up. I've now got 18 months worth. Based on the ingredients above, excellent storage conditions out of heat and light - how long past the mfg recommended shelf life I can safely use this up in and do you think I should stockpile more if I happen upon them? Please don't give me the canned repsponse as the manufacturer would - you know the one where they say they cannot guarantee the efficacy past 36 months blah blah blah. I want to know what the science says about these ingredients please and if in fact that canned response is the best I can do I'll start shopping for a new provduct 3 or 4 bottles in to my stash.


  • Propylene Glycol in such high amounts can be a problem for sensitive individuals. If it's in the first third of the ingrediënt list, I would avoid it.

    If you store it in a refrigerator you can definitely store it a bit longer, the stability of the product has been tested under extreme conditions. But I guess it is hard to say for how long it will stay good.

  • If I understand your question correctly, you want to know if this glycolic acid product will still be good about 4 months past its expiration date.

    Since expiration dating is a guess (a guess based on stability testing data but still a guess) I think you would be fine. The main thing that's likely to go wrong with this product is that the pH might drift up and then it wouldn't exfoliate as well. (I suppose the pH could drift down and the product might be too aggressive on your skin but that seems less likely.) In addition to storing the product away from light and heat, you might also do this: Buy some pH test strips and check the pH of the product now. When you're ready to use a new bottle, check the pH again and see if it's shifted. That gives you some assurance that the product hasn't changed to much.     
  • Thank you for these great replies! Randy - I popped onto Amazon right away to order some ph strips and see they have digital meters for roughly that same price. Are they as accurate or did you recommend strips as they are better? I seem to recall one of your podcast episodes where I got the impression ph was not that big of a deal and 'ph balanced' was a bit of s marketing scam. Perhaps I have to listen to that one again!
  • pH test strips typically cost around $14. I don't have any experience with digital meters that are that inexpensive so I can't really say. 

    pH is VERY important. If the pH is too high or too low a product won't work properly. Glycolic acid products like the one you're using must have a low pH (about 3.5.)

    Our earlier point was that "pH balanced" doesn't have much meaning as a marketing claim  because every modern product is controlled for pH. It's just not a differentiating factor on which to base a purchase decision. 
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