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How Long Does it Take for Lube to Expire & How to Tell it's Gone Bad

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DEK: Time to check the date on the lube collecting dust in your side drawer. 

If you’re like most ~sexually active women~ out there, odds are you have *some* form of personal lubricant sitting on your nightstand collecting dust. (Been there.) Or, you bought a jumbo-sized bottle that you’ve been using since god-knows-when and hasn’t run out of product quite yet. Either way—your lube selection is dated, and it’s probably time for you to take inventory of your supply. 

Because honestly, have you ever wondered: does lube, arousal oil, intimacy serum, and the like, expire? In truth: Yes it does, and you’re definitely due for a check on the expiration date, babe. When it comes to what you’re putting on (or in) your bod, you always need to be aware of things like manufacturing dates, intended span of use, when you broke the seal on packaging, and more. 

So yup, it might be time to toss that lube you’ve had on your bedside table straight into the trash bin. (And upgrade with a bottle of our Beia Intimacy and Body Serum, of course.) Here’s how to know when your product is going to expire (or already has, hah)—whether it’s intimacy serum, personal lubricant, or arousal oil, according to a certified sex and relationship expert. 


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So, does lube expire?

First things first, let’s answer this important question: Does lube expire? And if so, when? Here’s the thing:  “Like with any product, they put an expiration date to give you an idea of when it was manufactured,” explains sex therapist Dr. Janet Brito, PhD, founder of the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health. This is true for all lubes: silicone, water-based, you name it. 

How long does it take for lube to expire?

And look, technically you could use your personal lubricant for up to three years, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “But why would you risk it?” Brito asks. Bottom line: You can use your lube for a while, but if you have one that’s been long-forgotten and you go to use it in the heat of the moment, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to check out the expiration date real quick, K?

How does lube expire, exactly?

If we’re being honest here, “anytime you open your lube it’s going to decrease in value,” Brito says. This means the more you use it, the more quickly the quality of your lube is going to decline. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it, though! You want to use all your lube frequently, if possible, or whenever you’re getting intimate if you enjoy incorporating it into the bedroom. 

Take it from Brito: “It’s best to use it sooner rather than later,” Brito says, but it will probably be at its “most fresh” for up to three months, maximum, Brito says. So don’t hesitate to use it! You bought it for a reason, so you might as well get the maximum pay off from your purchase, no? 

And how do you know for sure it’s expired?

For starters, if you experience a burning or itching sensation after using a lube that’s been in your drawer for quite a while, odds are it’s definitely expired. (And you should toss it in the trash, ASAP!) It’s also smart to hop in a shower or bath and clean your genital surface with a washcloth to ensure it’s fully removed, stat. 

Make sure you check on the formula, first. 

And before you use your lube in the first place, “I think it’s good to smell it and see if the texture has changed,” Brito says. Also ask yourself: Does it look any different? Does it have a different odor? Did the structure of the bottle or formula itself change in any way? If the answer is yes, odds are that your lube is no longer safe for use. Again, just throw it away and go grab a new one, K? (*Cough* Beia Body and Intimacy Serum *cough*)

Does arousal oil expire?

If you’re using an arousal oil, you should definitely note that it will most likely have a significantly shorter expiration date, Brito explains. “Anything with oil is going to get more rancid,” Brito says. Again, you shouldn’t push using arousal oil beyond one years, and that’s really cutting it close. 

What about flavored lube?

When it comes to personal lubricants that you’re using orally—like a flavored lube—you want to be even more careful, Brito says. TBH, “if you’re going to use it in oral activities with lube, it’s best to use a fresh product,” Brito notes. If you’re not able to grab a fresh one and you need to stretch it, Brito says you can trust your own judgment, but sometimes it’s just not worth the risk, yah know? 

Aroused Open Mouth

When in doubt, do a skin patch test. 

Not sure what a skin patch is, exactly? All you need to do is take a little, pea-sized amount of lube and put it on a small patch of your skin. (Such as the back of your hand, for example.) Wait about 15 minutes and see how your complexion looks as time passes, Brito says. 

Ask yourself: Does it look red or feel itchy? Does the product have a strange odor? How does it feel on your skin overall? Whether or not you should use the lube will depend on your answers to these questions, obviously. 

All in all? “If it looks okay, great. If it doesn’t, get rid of it,” Brito says. 

Don’t be shy. Just snag a new personal lubricant if yours seems expired. 

Might we suggest a new formula for you? When in doubt about your potentially-expired lube, try Beia’s Body & Intimacy Serum. Formulated for all-purpose pleasure that you can use anywhere on your body, it’s a first-of-its-kind sexual wellness product that also acts as skincare, too.

Trust: this product will look so d*mn good on your nightstand—waaay better than that expired lube, hah.

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