We check expiration dates for all sorts of food and beauty products, but you’re probably not checking your bar of soap. What is the shelf life of soap? Does it ever expire?

You might not know that most soap is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Yes, soap can expire, especially if it’s handmade. However, your soap is probably still effective even after the expiration date. Read on to learn more about soap expiration dates and why you should pay attention.

How to tell if your soap has expired

As the pandemic has taught us all, soaps don’t have to be antibacterial to be effective. They’re surfactants, which means that they break the surface tension of water. When you lather up and wash your hands for 20 seconds, the soap traps dirt, oils, grease and bacteria and viruses. They slide right off your hands and rinse down the sink.

Another way soaps help kill germs is by destroying the lipid structures in viruses. The COVID-19 virus is easily destroyed by basic hand washing.

Most manufactured soap has a two to three-year expiration date, but it may last longer than that. As long as the soap creates a lather, it’s working. If, however, your soap doesn’t seem to be creating a lather, it’s probably not killing germs and cleaning effectively.

When it comes to natural and handmade soaps, the expiration date is usually around a year. That’s because natural ingredients can become rancid or moldy. When you buy soap from small soap makers, only buy as much as you can use within a year. In fact, some handmade soap makers recommend using their soaps within three months of purchase.

Another indication of soap expiration are orange spots on its surface. This means that the oils in the soap have gone rancid. It might still be effective, but it’s not going to smell good.

Scent is a good indication of whether either kind of soap is still effective—especially when it comes to handmade soaps. Essential oils are volatile: they evaporate when they’re exposed to air. If your soap no longer has a scent, it’s probably past its prime. You can use it to see if it lathers, but you won’t get the same experience or efficacy.

Finally, some soaps may appear dry and cracked. This is also an indication that they’re past the expiration date, and probably should be tossed.

Natural, handmade soaps for you

When you want the benefits of high-quality, handmade soaps, be sure to visit Soaps & Scents. Our mission is to provide beautiful and delicious-smelling soaps made with natural ingredients. They’ll keep you clean without sacrificing comfort or cost.

If you have questions about our expiration dates, and how much soap we recommend purchasing at one time, reach out to us today. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions—and match you with the perfect scents for your home, office and for gifts. Shop online or contact us through our form.

Soft skin is healthy skin—and using lotion is one of the best ways to ensure your skin looks and feels great. You can use it on a regular basis to soften dry, rough skin, get rid of scaly knees and elbows and lock in healthy moisture.

Why use lotion?

Lotions are good for all skin types, even oily ones—although if you have particularly dry skin, you may want to use a body cream or body butter to moisturize. Typically, lotions contain humectants, which attract and seal in moisture, as well as emollients, which soften and smooth the skin. Lotions often contain fatty acids and vitamin E, which protect the natural skin barrier and maintain healthy skin.

You’ll get best results if you use lotion after your shower, when your skin is clean and damp, and your pores are open. Most lotions can be used on the entire body, but may cause your face to break out—use facial moisturizers for that purpose.

Benefits of using lotion

Here’s a closer look at some of the advantages of incorporating lotion into your skincare regiment:

  • Keep your skin hydrated: When you live in a hot, dry area, your skin has a harder time retaining moisture. Your skin can get chapped and cracked from dry air, wind, heat and even the cold. Lotion helps seal in moisture to improve hydration, reduce irritation and prevent further damage.
  • Maintain your tan: Love that golden summer glow? Lotion helps maintain your tan, so apply daily after your shower to make it last.
  • Soothe extra dry or rough spots: Elbows, knees, random scaly patches and skin conditions like eczema can leave your skin feeling more like a Martian landscape than a human body. Lotion helps soothe and heal these areas, making them feel as smooth and soft as the rest of your skin.
  • Enhance your natural skin tone: With regular use, your skin becomes healthier, which means it will glow from the inside out. When you regularly moisturize, your skin will not only feel better, it will also look better. Whether you’re hitting the beach or want to look great in a little black dress, regular moisturizing is key.
  • Smells great: If you like scented lotions, choosing a high-quality version can replace perfumes and other scents. It’s a subtler way to achieve a signature scent. Plus, depending on the scent, you might enjoy some aromatherapeutic effects. It’s like going to the spa for five minutes every day.
  • Get rid of calluses: Calluses can form on our hands and feet, especially if you work a manual job, play sports frequently or wear ill-fitting shoes. These rough, hardened areas of skin are your body’s way of protecting the skin—but they don’t exactly look or feel great. Lotion helps soften and remove the dead skin, so you have baby-soft skin everywhere.

When you’re ready to choose high-quality scented lotions, Soaps & Scents has a great selection. Our products enhanced with vitamins, nutrients, aloe vera and glycerin to promote healthy, soft skin. Shop online or stop by today to start reaping the benefits of using lotion!