Mary Kay Product Expiration and Shelf Life : A simple guide

updated: April 2022

Mary Kay stands behind its products sold to you by us, Mary Kay Beauty Consultants. The company never compromises when it comes to the quality and safety of the products. Decisions are made based on scientific facts and not myths nor opinions.

As the company’s Director for Human Product Safety and Environmental Toxicology Dr. Cristi Gomez, said: “Mary Kay’s commitment to safety and quality is unwavering. We will not use any ingredient or sell any product until our high safety standards have been achieved.”

“Mary Kay’s commitment to safety and quality is unwavering. We will not use any ingredient or sell any product until our high safety standards have been achieved.”

Product Quality, Safety and Performance

Mary Kay products are of high quality and are tested for safety and efficacy. However, like all cosmetics, Mary Kay products aren’t ageless, they have their expiry dates and shelf lives that us Beauty Consultants and you – our happy users should be aware of.

For people who are new to cosmetics, getting the hang of these terms can be a little tricky! But stay with me so next time, it becomes effortless to understand. Here’s an easy guide to help you through it:

Product Shelf Life

First of all, what’s a product shelf life? Most products have shelf lives, and one example of that is food. To be simple, the product shelf life stated on the product indicates how long you can use it before it expires. It’s essential to use a Mary Kay product before it expires to take advantage of its potency, efficacy, and performance. This is especially true when the product is opened as bacteria and fungi might have found its way inside the product package. For example – the creams that are in a jar. These consequences lead to adverse effects on the user, such as rashes, acne, and at worst – infections. Disclosing and Understanding the product shelf life is therefore crucial.

How to read Product Shelf Life on Mary Kay Products

The manufacturing date of the products is labeled clearly on the packaging to ensure the safety of the customers. Before getting into the expiry date, first of all, we need to know how to read the easy-to-understand manufacturing code. Here are the few easy steps required for decoding:

  1.  Find the code. The code is a mixture of letters and digits that combine   into an alphanumeric code.
    Example: 9F13, 8B09,9C04

    Mary Kay Manufacturing Code
    manufacturing code in a tube
    Mary Kay Manufacturing Code
    Manufacturing Code in a jar


  2.  Decode the first number/letter. This code will correspond to the year of manufacturing date:
  3. Decode the second letter. This code will correspond to the month of manufacturing date.Month of manufacturing
  4. Decode the third and fourth numbers. This code will correspond to the day of the manufacturing date.

● 01, 02, 03… up to  31…


Most Mary Kay Products are manufactured to have a minimum shelf life of three years from the date of manufacture.

What is the expiry date?

By Wikipedia definition, Expiry date is a previously determined date after which something should no longer be used, either by operation of law or by exceeding the anticipated shelf life for perishable goods.

Mary Kay Expiry Date
Expiry Date in the box


The expiry date of Mary Kay products will depend on its classification. Mary Kay products are segregated into two where expiration dates are concerned.

SPF products: SPF products are those which protect the user against the rays of the sun. The ingredients in these make them more perishable than other cosmetics.

Expiry date = Manufacturing date + 2 years


● Non-SPF products:

Expiry date = Manufacturing date + 3 years


With SPF, add 2 years to the manufacturing date.

Without SPF, add 3 years to the manufacturing date.

Now, let’s cite 2 Examples:

  1. Code : 9F13 for Liquid Foundation ( Non-SPF)

9  =  2019
F  =  June
13 =  13th of the month

Thus, it is manufactured on June 13, 2019. Since it has no SPF, then add 3 years. Product Expiration will be June 13, 2022.

2. Code: 9C04 for CC Cream with SPF 15

9  =  2019
C  =  March
04 = 4th of the Month

Thus, the manufacturing date is March 4, 2019. Since CC Cream has SPF 15, then add 3 years for its expiration. So, the expiration date will be on March 4, 2021.

Mary Kay expiry date policy

All products will have a manufacturing code or expiration date in the packaging as a requirement by a regulatory agency.

For the utmost safety of buyers and customers, Mary Kay has specific rules and regulations set in place regarding the expiry date of products. Mary Kay Philippines makes sure that their cosmetics are sold before reaching six months before expiry – those who exceed this threshold will be pulled out of stock. This means that anyone who buys authorized Mary Kay products will have fresh and ready-to-use products so long as they are stored according to Mary Kay’s regulatory practices, such as avoidance from extreme temperatures.

Product Storage

Avoid storing them in the car when your car is parked under the sun to avoid change in either appearance, texture, or color. Based on my personal experience, a lipstick may melt when kept in the car under the heat of the sun especially in the summer months in the Philippines.

Do not refrigerate products that have been exposed to high heat or have been frozen to avoid inconsistency. Although cod moisturizers are pleasant to the skin when kept cold.

Finally, I am proud to tell you that products purchased from an authorized beauty consultant are ideally safe and fresh from our warehouse as our return policy is covered only for a month. Avoid buying from unauthorized online sellers to ensure product storage safety.

Do you have skincare questions? If you don’t have a beauty consultant yet, send me a message and let’s start something beautiful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2021
    by Ann Marie

    i have a lash primer and the 1st number is 2. I’m confused as to what year that means…..

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hi Ann, Then it was manufactured in 2012. It’s way too old. I would throw it.

  • Posted April 14, 2021
    by Lynn Kain

    I appreciate your Mary Kay expiration info, but my MK moisturizer doesn’t seem to fit the code. Mine has (AR18). A= 2020, R would be the 18th month…….which there is none!?!? (I checked with an eye loop to be sure it was an R not a B. Any help you can give would be appreciated!
    Thanks, Lynn

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hello Lyn, You are right. In this case consider it to be manufactured in December. So adding 3 years you can use it until December 2023

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hello Lyn, The actual <manufacturing date of your product is :
      Date of manufacture:
      18 of September, 2000
      General shelf life: 36 months

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Lyn, Hmm, it does not align with the codes of Asia Pacific and US, where did you get it?

  • Posted May 11, 2021
    by Nancy White

    Is it OK to use Mary Kay makeup primer with expiration date of 10/20?

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hi Nancy, No I would not use it but you can use your senses like smell for foul odors and look for discoloration and inconsistency. Assess if you still want to.

  • Posted July 2, 2021
    by hakim

    how do you decode AR21?

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hello Hakim, Normally the alphabet part should be only upto L. But I would count it until December so 21 December 2020

      • Posted April 4, 2022
        by Gabi

        Actually it would be Sept. 21, 2020 so good until Sept 21, 2023.
        Here is the Date info for stamped codes from Mary Kay
        Key to Year (2020-2029)
        A – 2020 H – 2025
        B – 2021 K – 2026
        C – 2022 M – 2027
        D – 2023 R – 2028
        F – 2024 T – 2029
        The second character represents the alpha character for the month of the year packaged. Only the designated letters will be used since some letters could be easily mistaken for similar letters. Alpha characters for months of the year are as follows:
        A – January F – May R – September
        B – February H – June T – October
        C – March K – July V – November
        D – April M – August X – December
        Characters 3 and 4: Numbers representing day of month

        • Posted April 26, 2022
          by Cecille

          This is absolutely correct! Thank you for the input.

  • Posted August 24, 2021
    by helpful

    Thank you for this is helpful

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Thank you so much Velria!

  • Posted August 31, 2021
    by Saundra Louise Pond

    My code is very confusing because it starts with a “T”. I have old hand creams. The codes are TD28, TF01, and TH03. Going through the alphabet, T would equal 34. That wouldn’t make any sense. I have had them for, I think, at least 8-10 years without opening them. I doubt they are any good.

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hi Sandra? That must be the old coding system. If this is the cqse then they must be really old. For hand creams though, perhaps its not that sensitive so if you dont see any discoloration and foul smell, you can still use them but not sell them.

  • Posted October 1, 2021
    by Bobbi Everett

    I have product codes I can’t figure out: 9X17; 9V18; 9X02; 9X05; 9T04; 9V06; and many more. so how do I figure out the expiration month with those letters

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hi Bobbi,
      9 means they were manufactured in 2019. Next letter should be just upto L for December nevertheless give them a rough estimate of 3 years ending in December so upto December 2022.

  • Posted December 7, 2021
    by Maidelen

    My code is 8H26
    Can you guys help?

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hi Maidelen, Help on what?

  • Posted December 17, 2021
    by Josie

    Kindly provide me the link where to download mary kay product codes…

    • Posted March 25, 2022
      by Cecille

      Hello, The product codes are available in each product itself. There is no available product codes anywhere else. Please check the products physically.

  • Posted January 4, 2022
    by Linda Rosenthal

    Cleanser just purchased from Cosmetics Plus LLC. 5A22. Thank you

  • Posted April 12, 2022
    by Jasmin

    I purchased from a website not directly from Mary Kay. I bought the charcoal cleanser 7V20 and 7M15. According to what you mentioned, I am calculating they are expired? They are brand new but opened. Please help me.

    • Posted April 20, 2022
      by Cecille

      it appears thqt Date of manufacture is 20 of November, 2017. Shelf life is generally 36 months. Get back to the seller and complain for the expiration date. You should buy from Certified Mary Kay beauty consultant only to ensure product quality.

  • Posted November 9, 2022
    by Cherry

    Can you help me ? I have a products here and the codes is 8X06 what does it mean? Thankyou …

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hmm, it does not align with the codes of Asia Pacific and US, where did you get it?

  • Posted November 27, 2022
    by Shelle

    My mother in law passed away and was a part tine consultant. She has lots of old product with the codes TT07 or RR05 or RX30
    I could go on all various product from timewise sets to shadows and lipsticks! Help!!

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Sorry for your loss. Hmm, it does not align with the codes of Asia Pacific and US, where did she get it?

  • Posted December 12, 2022
    by Anna Wellington

    my foundation shows 4/2013 what does it mean

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi, It’s most likely the manufacturing date. Shelf life is max of 3 years so I suggest not to use it anymore.

  • Posted December 21, 2022
    by Tricia

    Hi! Need a little help! My Satin hands scrub has the code AC24 is this still good! The other two products I have has the code 9T16 and A820 or AB20! I believe it’s not good anymore, just want to be sure! Be Help! Thanks!

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Tricia, Products that start with A is manufactured in September 2020. If it has no SPF then shelf life should be 3 years. I suggest use them ASAP until end of this year.

  • Posted January 10, 2023
    by adi

    My code is BT20 ?? Can i still use it

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      It depends, your manufacturing date is 2021 so if it has SPF, just add 2 years for shelf life and 3 years if it has no SPF. Until then it should be ok

  • Posted January 31, 2023
    by Ally

    What expiry is code VA07

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Ally, From which country is it? It does not align with the Mary Kay Asia Pacific and US code.

  • Posted March 27, 2023
    by Andrea

    I just got gel sem-matte lipstick the color is blush velvet. It smells and taste like old peanut oil. Looks like it’s out of date 9/12/19. I don’t see any letters or numbers that appear to be a code date.

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      If you can see a date there, please add 2 or 3 years then it should be ok until then. However, even if we use 3 years shelf life, it would have ended in 2022 which means efficacy may not be 100% anymore. If it has been opened or used before, please do not use it anymore.

  • Posted April 3, 2023
    by Zainab

    My Mary Kay eye firming cream does not fit the code as shown in the examples listed. Mine has 1F17 which I cannot decode. please can you help?

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Dear, Which country did you get the product? The coding may be different from Asia Pacific and US.

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      You are right, it does not fit the code. Which country is it from and would you recall the year of purchase?

  • Posted April 17, 2023
    by Molly

    What does the code CR20 means

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi, It means manufacturing date of 2022, add 2 or 3 years then it should be ok until then.

  • Posted May 6, 2023
    by Lavenia

    Product codes is AD30 what is the expired date thank

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi, Where did you buy the item? It does not seem to align with the code that I know of.

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi, Sorry its manufactured on 2020 April; Add 3 years and it should be ok until then.

  • Posted June 11, 2023
    by Jennifer

    Hi, I am living in Germany and started using Mary Kay products for the last 2months with very positive results but now representative said its okay to use rentinol serum that has expired a month ago because its unopened. I am concerned as I think 90 euro for an expired cream is very unfair.
    Could you please gibe me your opinion.
    Thanks in advance

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Jen, I should not say this publicly but Mary Kay standard is just to high and normally the expiration is about the efficacy of the product and not about it being spoiled. So expect that it won’t perform as much as it should if you decide to use it expired. Please use it immediately.

  • Posted June 13, 2023
    by Charlotte

    If a product code for a CC Cream states, AK22 what would the expiration date be?

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Its manufacturing date would be January 2022 so just add 2 years shelf life. Then you can use it until then.

  • Posted June 22, 2023
    by FLOR

    Hi good afternoon can you help me about the expiration date of my Mary Kay clearproof charcoal mask the code is 7V21, hope I could get an answer . Thank you.

    • Posted June 29, 2023
      by Cecille

      Manufactured in July 2021, add 3 years shelf life and it should be OK until then.

  • Posted July 4, 2023
    by Carmen

    I just purchased two hand creams private spa collection satin hands. Both sealed with plastic. Upon opening one of the tubes I notice it smells awful. Smells old. The cream seems ok but can’t use them because the smell lingers, it chokes me up.
    The code is KT31 on both of them..

    • Posted July 27, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Carmen sorry about that but the code you gave does not correspond to the standard code of Asia Pacific and US so I would not know. Which country is it from?

  • Posted July 18, 2023
    by Ana

    Please help me im so confused with this dates. Thank you so much

    • Posted July 27, 2023
      by Cecille

      Hi Ana, all of them were made on November 2018. Add 3 years of shelf life for products without SPF

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