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How can I store my cosmetics with sensitive active agents?

Cosmetics with natural ingredients such as highly dosed vitamins and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) usually have a minimum shelf life during which they are fully effective.

The minimum shelf life refers to a room temperature of 20-25°C unless otherwise stated.

A rule of thumb says that lowering the storage temperature of food or cosmetics by 10°C can double the remaining shelf life. To give you an example: buying a cream with a minimum shelf life of 2 months counted from the day of purchase means that said cream can still be used within 2 months after the use-by date if stored in the fridge at a temperature of about 10°C.

Hence, the shelf life extends the lower the temperature. Caution however is recommended for aqueous products since the storage temperature here should not be lower than 0°C.

Vice versa, the shelf life reduces if the room temperature is increased by 10°C, in other words the temperature is at 30°C. In this case, the shelf life then will halve to about one month. In analogy, 40°C means that the actual shelf life already will be expired after about half a month.

Thus, storing a cream with sensitive active agents in the car at summer temperatures involves that the cream already will be spoilt after a short time.

Dr. Hans Lautenschläger

Please note: The contribution is based on the state of the art at the revision date.

Kindly inform us at if you have found any misprint or any other relevant mistake on this page

© Copyright Kosmetik Konzept KOKO GmbH & Co.KG, Leichlingen,
Revision: 07.06.2016