Optimized for performance
Retail stores don't want to deal with skincare products that have a shelf life of less than 30 months. That's why cosmetics companies that rely on selling in these stores have to play by their rules. At Ostelia we sell directly to our customers and choose not to compromise.
Things like mineral oil might last for years, but that isn't the case with most other complex ingredients and formulations. Antioxidants, retinoids and high linoleic oils are just some of the examples of ingredients that don't have a long shelf life.
By committing to fresh, we are able to design formulas that include the highest performing rather than "stable" ingredients and increase the number of functional components by reducing the volume of stabilizers and preservatives.
Don't blame yourself for your "sensitive" or "prone to breakout" skin when it might be not your genes' fault at all! An extra-long shelf life and compromised packaging can make cosmetic products degrade before you even open the bottle.
When oil and water are mixed together as in a lotion or cream, oxidative processes go much faster, even if the bottle is fully sealed. As a result of oxidation, oils break down into various toxic components and can cause allergies or sensitivity. Unfortunately, without ongoing lab testing, it is often impossible to tell whether the product is still safe after any time spent on the shelf.
When cosmetics companies are doing the stability testing, most test results look for microbial growth and separation of water and oil. The testing to verify how many oxidative components have formed or whether the active ingredients are still intact is much more expensive and seldom or never performed. The default rule of thumb in the industry is: if it smells fine and looks fine, it passes.
Applying an already rancid oil on your face and going under the sunlight is one of the worst things to put your skin through. Instead of nourishing your skin it damages skin cells.
Convenience & transparency
As surprising as it might sound, the United States and EU governments do not regulate cosmetic products as strictly as drugs or food. Therefore, they aren’t required to post expiration dates on product packaging if the shelf life is over 30 months.
Even when the product is properly designed and remains safe after 2.5 years, how would you know that it was nearing its expiration date? Some websites offer to check the manufacturing date by the product's batch code, but that’s a lot of hassle to go through. moreover not every manufacturer even supports this sort of a check.
Last but not least, even if manufacturers and retails stores did everything right and you’ve got a product that was still fresh, how can you make sure it stays that way after you buy it? Sometimes, it is purchased as a backup and spends some time on a shelf at home before it's opened. Or, maybe you’ve even opened it, but don’t remember when exactly. When there is nothing on a bottle that gives you a clue, it is very easy to convince yourself that “maybe it was just a couple of months ago,” especially when you paid a lot for a tiny bottle.