A Complete Guide to Korean Beauty Expiration Dates

We know that feeling when you receive a brand new Korean beauty product but panicked seeing the date  on the bottom of the package, thinking if this expired. Stay calm, as most of Korean cosmetics manufacturers write the manufacturing date instead of the expiration date, and they are printed in Korean. Don't worry, here's our little guide may ease your confusion and help you make sure the beauty products you are safe to use.



Manufacturing Date vs Expiration Date


The 제조 character (Manufacturing Date) is where many of us get confused, but this actually means the date when the product was manufactured. Most Korean manufacturers like to put manufacturing dates so consumers know they are getting a fresh product.



PAO = Period After Opening



This symbol refers to the amount of time a product will stay stable after opening, it should be thrown away.  Once you open a product, it will start to oxidise and be exposed to bacteria, so it is a very good idea to pay attention to that direction. For example, a “12M” means you should throw the product out 12 months after you've opened it.
Here's our handy little chart explaining how long the products will remain stable after opening.


A Complete Guide to Korean Beauty Expiration Dates


Fresh foods aren’t the only things that will expire, makeup and skin care products also have expiration dates. Toss anything you own that’s expired to ensure you have a stash of products that can work to their full potential and doesn't harm your skin. We prefer to get the most of our beauty products, so here are some of our tips  for prolonging the shelf life of your products.


  • Keeps products in a cool, dry place
  • Wash your hands before using products, use and clean the little spatulas that comes with your products.
  • Tighten/secure the cap after using
  • Write on the date opened to follow the PAO direction
  • Don't share your skincare and makeup products with others
  • Don't store products in direct sunlight


Perhaps it's time to clean your makeup and skincare stash and check expiration dates of those products sitting in your bathroom? 

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