Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mary Kay Expiration Dates

Hey hey! I'm back with another completely random blog post! This one's especially for y'all who purchase beloved Mary Kay products & wonder when the heck they expire!

We all hear about products expiring after a certain amount of time, or know we're told not to use certain types of products after certain time periods, but not really knowing how long is too long and what the exceptions are. Well if that's you, then this blog post is for you! Also, consider reading this if this is NOT you but you have to admit you've noticed that your friend's Mary Kay products come in different packaging than the Mary Kay products you're currently using. ;)

I was wondering about a certain Mary Kay product I had purchased a long time ago. I was thinking it was too old to continue using, but wasn't too sure, so I did some investigating.  I went on the Mary Kay InTouch website {for consultants} and found the following information. Hopefully it'll be as helpful to you as it was to me!

NOTE:  this system only applies to Mary Kay products. I have no idea how other companies note their expiration dates, or in this case, the date of manufacture.

I'm going to re-cap the info I found for you:::

Every Mary Kay product is labeled with an "easy to read" code right on the packaging. Yes, it's on the packaging, yes you can read it, but without these helpful hints, you won't know what you're looking at. Every product has it's product name on it, including the shade name, a six-digit part number (that you won't need), and here it is- a four-digit code.

That four-digit code is the product's date of manufacture. You can interpret the day code using the following legend:
Character 1: Letter representing the year in the decade in which the product was produced.
  • R = 2008
  • T = 2009
  • V = 2010
  • 1 = 2011
  • 2 = 2012
  • and for future reference... 3 = 2013, 4 = 2014, and 5 = 2015.
Character 2: Letter representing the month of year in alpha order, as follows (please note that the code skips some letters to avoid confusion and mistaken identification):
  • A = January 
  • B = February 
  • C = March
  • D = April 
  • F = May
  • H = June
  • K = July 
  • M = August
  • R = September
  • T = October
  • V = November
  • X = December  
Characters 3 and 4: Numbers representing day of month. For example, 01 = the first day of the month, 15 = the 15th day of the month, 31 = the 31st day of the month.

So, if you can put 1 + 2  + 3 together, you can figure out when your product was born!!

Most Mary Kay® products are produced to have a shelf life of three years from the date of manufacture. This is the standard for the cosmetic industry, not a regulation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the shelf life of over-the-counter (OTC) drug products such as sunscreens, antiperspirants, etc., as follows:
  • If the shelf life is less than three years, then the expiration date of the product must be clearly indicated on the package. This is not required if the shelf life is greater than three years.
So, some Mary Kay® products may have an expiration date because they have a shelf life of less than three years. For these products, it is particularly important to check the expiration date before using them. These products are: 
  • TimeWise® Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 25†
  • TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 15†
  • Acne Treatment Gel†
  • TimeWise® Even Complexion Essence
  • MKMen® Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 25†\
  • Mary Kay® Lip Protector Sunscreen SPF 15†
  • Mary Kay® SPF 30 Sunscreen†
  • Subtle Tanning Lotion
  • Mary Kay® Tinted Moisturizer With Sunscreen SPF 20†
  • Mary Kay® Tinted Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 15†
  • TimeWise Body™ Hand and Décolleté Cream Sunscreen SPF 15†
  • Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color
  • Mary Kay® Foundation Primer
Products indicated with a single dagger identify over-the-counter drug products. Customers should carefully read and observe all warnings, indications and directions for use on the labels of these products.

So, UNLESS there is a blatant expiration date on the product, you can assume the product has a shelf-life of three years. It'll say something like: "EXP 4/12" if it does, and in that case, the product should be thrown away in (for this example) April 2012.

Unfortunately not all Mary Kay products have the dummy version of when to discard your products, so, this info will be good info to know so you can crack the code & see if it's been three years or not!! Lord, I hope not!! ;) Mary Kay products are great & always improving! New products are coming out & things change so so much in three YEARS so if it's been that long, find your consultant & get an updated facial! It'll be worth your time to pamper yourself & see what fabulous new products the company has come out with!

Side note: Someone remind me to blog about their new products & products I'm loving right now!! ;) I know I need to keep a list of things I need to blog about. Otherwise I'll just get distracted & make false promises! And I don't have time right now this second or I would blog all night!! :)

I hope this is helpful to someone out there. I know it was helpful to me! :)

PS: If you're a Mary Kay consultant & looking for this information yourself, here it is. And the info given in this blog is up-to-date as of today.  If you're viewing this five years from now, things may or may not have changed. Just sayin'...


  1. Genial !!!
    Me has ayudado mucho, gracias, sigue asi con tu blog ..

  2. Genial !!!
    Me has ayudado mucho, gracias, sigue asi con tu blog ..

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  4. Do you know what the code means if it's all numbers? I have luminous foundation that reads 038704, any idea?

    1. Honestly, I have no clue. Your Mary Kay consultant should be able to get you that info though. I can't imagine that they changed their entire expiration coding system. Sorry I can't be of more help!

    2. Also, the Luminous Foundation line is fairly new so I can't imagine that it'd expire in the next year or so.

  5. Yes, very helpful. Needed it. Thank you! Tammy 6-5-2013

  6. Thank you so much...This was extremely helpful considering I've been SEARCHING for an expiry date on my 3-in-one face wash...luckily it was manufactured in 2012. now this is one blog I'd Def follow :)

  7. Thank you for sharing this insight. I have a TimeWise night solution from 2012 (RH12). I forgot I had it, and I just found it. I was wondering if I should use it on my skin. Now I know!

  8. I have a Mk blemish control toner manufactured on February 2011. Is it too old to use ? It has no exp date . Thank you for your information .

  9. Hii Nicole. My mk foundation says 042011. What does it mean?

    1. If the info from my blog post doesn't help, I'm sorry. I no longer sell Mary Kay & don't have up to date info. Try Googling it?! Sorry!

  10. Thank you so much! I have been holding on to Makeup and this was exactly what i needed. after reading her book i wanted to go back through my makeup and update my collection. lol thanks


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