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How to Check Your Expiration Date on Korean Beauty Products

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Confusing System of KFDA

As a Korean beauty product provider, we have plenty of questions on expiration dates on our products. The confusion comes from duplicate regulation of Korean cosmetics. Actually, the regulation states that every cosmetic that is sold in South Korea should state the manufactured date somewhere in the container. However, more and more companies use expiration date system instead of manufactured date system to circumvent the confusion and customer complain, so now both of the systems are used in Korean cosmetics. So, in most of the case, customer questions come from this confusing regulation. So, I have prepared a little Korean lesson here.

1. Manufactured Date: is generally written as “제조” and most of the time, it appears in front of the date.

For example, 제조2016.12.05 means this one is produced in Dec 2016. Sometimes it may be written after the date as well, So this is typically what you will see on the bottom of the container. (left)

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This container placed “제조 – date of manufacture” after the date. So this one is not expired.

If the product is marked with manufactured date system, there maybe be a print of bottle stating possible usages after use and shelf-life especially for European products. Some Korean products have this bottle mark but some doesn’t. Generally, the expiration date of many cosmetics is two years (There are few exception of course. Some hydrogel masks have longer shelf life than 2 years and some phenoxyethanol free cosmetics has shorter life), and after you open, you can use them up to 6 months.

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As you can see opened bottle, this product may be used for 6 months after first opening. (although this product uses expiration date system


2. Expiration Date: is generally written as “까지,” meaning “until” in Korean. So, practically this system is more straight forward saying this product maybe used until the stated date.

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-This innisfree product kindly stated EXP but you can see “까지” after the expiration date.

-T03285 is simply a product number :)

Sometimes, it may be written as “사용기한,” practically means the same thing as below. This product actually states both manufactured date and expiration date gracefully.

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Because of the confusion of this duplicate system, some companies states English or both languages as you can see below.

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Where to Find these?

-For the jar type, pipette type or pump type products, the manufactured date should be written on the bottom of the container.

-For the tube type product, they are embossed near the container closure.

-Sheet masks does not have specific place but generally they are printed on the backside or embossed around the closure.

-Because of the hard container, cushion, melting foundation or powder pacts may or may not have expiration date on the container. Sometimes it is stated on the stickers.


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