Mintel recently published the findings of a study showing that just one in four (28%) British women admit to discarding their make-up, shampoo and shower gel if they smell funny or become discoloured.

It is not simply a matter of products no longer performing to optimal standards, old make-up can be hazardous to our health. Like food, cosmetics can expire and become dangerous to use,” commented Alexandra Richmond, Senior Beauty Analyst. “These latest findings highlight a lack of information available on cosmetic sell-by dates,” she adds.

Commenting the results from the Mintel study, the Cosmetic Toiletry Perfumery Association (CTPA), said “it is a source of concern that suggests some women would continue to use products that look and smell strange, against the advice of the industry”.

However, we are confident that consumers are really able to use their products as intended. Manufacturers take great care to ensure their products are fit for purpose and that their quality and efficacy last far beyond the time it takes for the consumer to use and enjoy them in safety,CTPA added.

Mintel’s research also goes on to look at attitudes towards reading cosmetics ingredients. Today, just one in four (25%) women claim to frequently check the ingredients on cosmetics and toiletries they use. Meanwhile, almost half of women (47%) don’t bother to read the ingredients of brands they trust and almost a quarter think there is no need to check ingredients if a product is natural.

Reading ingredients is difficult for one in five women owing to the small print or the fact that ingredients are hidden in peel-back labels.

Finally, a fifth (19%) of women think about both ingredient origin as well as the impact of their toiletries on the environment. Concern peaks among women with children.