I have a (very expensive) tube of Retin-A that expired about two months ago. When I use it, I don't get any peeling or redness, but I haven't been using it long enough to see any results either. Is it okay to keep using it? Do you think there's any active ingredient in it? How long can I keep using it after this point?
Continue Using Expired Retin-A?
Doctor Answers 3
Expired retin-A should be fine
Although we are stringent in our office not to dispense expired samples (can you believe in Florida this is a criminal offense!), topical medications maintain their potency for at least a year. In fact, Benzoyl Peroxides increase their strength with time. Thus, I see no real problem using a cream two months past the expiration date. In fact, the samples I alluded to coming from my office: I use them on myself and family.
I would be much more fastidious with solutions, drops etc. since the preservatives in these products are not preserved and an eye infection can be serious.
As far as your not noting redness, this often does not happen with Retin A, especially if you are using a lower strength. Also, Retin A does not magically erase wrinkles and lines. What I tell my patilents is that if they use a Retinoid for the next twenty years, I can pretty much guarantee them that in twenty years they will look years younger than their cohorts who do not use Retin A (provided they wear sunscreens and do not smoke).
Expred retin A: Throw it Away
I don't think you will get any other response on this web site or from any other responsible medical professional. If a medication is expired, and especially if you have used expired meds without intended results, throw the medication away.
Expired Retin A
In compliance with the company's printed information and in light of publishing this in a public forum, it is in your best interest to discard the product and use material that is not expired.