Korean Cosmetics Expiration

Have you ever wondered about your Korean cosmetics expiration date? I don’t usually buy things impulsively, but when there is a sale I would stop by the store and get something. Of course, I try to use everything that I buy but this is not the case most of the time. Like last year, I bought some cosmetics for the winter weather. I have only used up half the bottle of the “super moisturizing” emulsion. I might not use it again until the next winter.
Check your bottle of Korean skin lotion or any other cosmetic. They usually have a date printed on them. However, this date does not represent the expiration. Instead, it is the manufacturing date or 제조일. The expiration date in Korean is 유통기간, which is not usually used for cosmetics.
Here are two products I bought in the United States last year:

Expiration date on cosmetic products

In the photo below are two Korean cosmetic products:
Manufacturing dates on Korean cosmetic products

The dates above are pretty straightforward: 20120215 and 20120125. The first four number represents the year – 2012 in both pictures. The next two numbers is the month 02 is February while 01 is January. The last two numbers is the date. So in the first picture, the manufacturing date is February 15, 2012 and in the second picture, January 25, 2012.
You can find the dates at the back label or on the flat end of a tube, like in facial cleansers, BB creams or masks. (An international brand below has both the manufacturing and expiration dates)
Where to find the manufacturing dates

Now how long can you keep your cosmetics on the shelf and until when can you safely use them?
Toner and emulsion, mask packs and creams

For skincare products:
Skin/Toner 3 years from MD; 12 months after OD
Essence 2 years from MD; 12 months after OD
Lotion same as above
Cream 2 years from MD; 8 months after OD
Cleanser 3 years from MD; 12 months after OD
Korean make-up products

For make-ups:
Base 3 years from MD; 12 months after OD (products with SPF 3-6 months)
Sunscreen 2 years from MD; 3-6 months after OD
Foundation 3 years from MD; 12 months after OD
Pact/Powder 2 years from MD; 12 months after OD (puff replacement)
Lip 1 year from MD; 6 months after OD
Mask sheet 3 years from MD; keep in the fridge
Eye makeup 1 year from MD; 6 months after OD
Body lotion 2 years from MD; 24 months after opening
Perfume 3 years from MD; 12-24 months after opening
Always check your Korean cosmetics expiration date. However, remember that if your cosmetic has a weird smell or its color has changed, don’t hesitate to throw it away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


  1. Good day ate Betchay! nacompute nyo na po yung sum nung items ko pati shipping po? thank you ate Betchay 🙂

    1. Hi Justine! I already sent the package. Last week pa, hindi ko pa lang nako-compute ang bayad mo. Will send you today!

  2. Thanks for sharing it Ms. Betchay. Its very informative and useful to us…Now I’m aware on looking not only the expiration date but the manufacturing date as well..:)

    1. Hi akishta! For Korean cosmetics, it’s the manufacturing date printed on the products. For food, it’s the expiration date.

      1. Oh i see. Cause I’ve seen a cosmetic who has an expiration date but its not a korean cosmetics..
        By the way Ms. Betchay, is there a way to get the tracking number of (Skinfood cosmetics) you’ve already shipped for me last March 7? Worried lang po ako baka maabutan ng holy-week sa post office…
        Thanks and GOD bless!

  3. hi Ms.Betchay,
    I have a question po mostly po sa mga Korean products they put the Manusfacturing dates than Expiration date right?

    1. Hi cha! That’s the correct. Manufacturing dates ang nakalagay at hindi expiration sa mga cosmetic products. Pag food naman, expiration date ang nakalagay.

  4. Ms. Betchay! Ako po yung winner nung cosmetic give-away niyo. Na-receive ko na po yung package this morning! Thank you so much po! God bless and more power po sa blog niyo! ♥♡♥

      1. Oo nga po eh, nagulat din po ako. Akala ko pa mga next week pa. Super thanks po talaga! (^.^)

  5. Hi there Ms. Betchay…Dumating na po yong package ko..:)
    May kasama pa mga sample, I love it!
    Right after I read your email message, the pick-up notice from post office arrived..
    Thanks a lot, til my next order…

  6. I’ve tried using the Berry Milk cleansing cream from skin food and its very good for my skin. However, SM Baguio run out of stock for months now and i dont know where to buy this product. Can you suggest me where to find it? I would really appreciate any feed back….

  7. Hi, tanung ko lng po, anung courier po gamit nyo kapag nagpapadala ng orders ng korean cosmetics sa Philippines? may babayarin po ba kaming taxes dito sa Phils. or door to door delivery na? Thank you.

  8. Thank you for all these informations. Do you know anything about mask sheet!? I have a lot that I bough last year in Korea but I don’t know if I can use them?
    thank you 🙂

  9. Hi, may i you know how you know if it is expire but didn’t mention the exp in the bottom of the bottle? May i know the expire word for korea word. Thanks

  10. Hi, I’ve just bought a Korean hair conditioner named Gold Energizing by Doori Care. There’s only a sequence found on the bottle: 00/100817/113. I don’t know how to read that sequence.
    Could you please help?

  11. Very nice post, it has answered most of the questions that were consuming me after a Korean purchase of mine arrived. Thank you so much for this!!! Kamsahamnidaa ^^

  12. what actually sign of expired cosmetics? i have a cosmetic that expired but it same than before expired, in texture and smell

    1. I can relate to that. Yesterday I saw the “lime secret foundation” in my cabinet and it’s three years old but the smell and texture is still the same. Only that I know it’s too old so I just threw it away.

  13. Hi, I have a question. I have etude wonderpore freshner, it’s been a little over a year and I’m still using it.
    Is it safe for me to keep using it or do I have to stop ?
    Thanks 🙂

      1. Hi! Your article is so helpful. I think I’ve seen a couple of Iope Super Vital samples in your post. If it wasn’t the case, my bad. >_<; I'm wondering is there any way at all to know the manufacturing/expiry date of sample bottles/sachets given out? Thanks!

        1. Hi, thank you for the information, it is very helpful. I have few lipsticks that I bought one year ago but could not use. Now, I checked their smell, it is still ok, should I throw them or can use?

  14. mam juz wanna ask..gusto q po kz bumili ng laneige bb cushion s O Shopping..but d operator said n ung expiration date dw nung item is until june 2016 n lng daw..ang question q mam is pde q p dn b un gmitin ng atleast a year fter I opened it kht n ang expiration n nkalagay s knya is upto june 2016 n lng? ndi nman po kz aq mxado gumagamit nun kya ndi q msabi f mauubos q agd ung product until june 2016 kya mejo hesitant aq bumili..please help me with this mam..tnx!

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