What do you want to know post, Lucy asks: How do you determine best before dates?
In general, we look at all the ingredients and determine which has the shortest shelf life. If we have a lotion with olive oil, grapeseed oil, e-wax, cetyl alcohol, water, green tea extract (water soluble), and preservative, the shortest lived ingredient is the grapeseed oil with three months. So this lotion would have a life span of three months. If we have a body wash with decyl glucoside and cocamiodpropyl betaine as the main surfactants and a ton of extracts with a one year life span, the product has a one year life span. It's about the shortest lived ingredient...
...most of the time. If you have something like grapeseed oil with a three month life span, can we make it a little longer? We could add some anti-oxidants to the mix, but we don't know exactly how much life we offer to the product, so the life span would still really be three months for the purposes of labelling.
Shelf life of our products (part 1)
Shelf life of our products (part 2)
How can we determine shelf life?
How do anti-oxidants affect our shelf life?
Frequently asked questions section on shelf life (scroll down, it's alphabetical)