How to understand the expiry date for Korean cosmetics products?

If you like Korean cosmetics, you can have a question “How to understand the best before date?”.

There are two different hieroglyphs Korean brands use on their product packages.

They look similar, so let’s find out the difference.

"제조" - manufacturing date
"까지" - expiration date

Most often we can see numbers and hieroglyphs on the product packages and couldn’t understand the min

Korean cosmetics manufacturers  mark manufacture dates or expiration dates on their products. Sometimes they mark both.

So, how to understand the expiration date correctly?

manufacturing and expiration date on korean cosmetics

20220221 or 220221 (it's the same dates marked in two different ways) - it means, expiration date is 21st of February 2022.

Date is always marked that way and in reverse order. Year. Month. Date.

Sometimes you can see on a package of Korean cosmetics:

MFG - manufacturing date

EXP - expiration date. 

expiration date on korean sheet mask

Now more and more Korean brands mark expiration dates, but you still can meet "old style" marking some brands still use manufacturing dates. 

On photo below you can see that only hieroglyph shows that it is manufacturing date 20190123 - this product was made 23rd of January 2019.

manufacturing date on korean cosmetics

If only the manufacturing date is marked, you can always calculate the expiration date.

Cleansers (Foams, Cleansing Oils, Peelings, Scrubs)

3 years

Toners, Oils, Creams, Masks

3 years

Essences, Serums, Lotions, Body Lotions

2 years

BB creams, Foundations

2 years

Lip gloss

1 year

Expiration dates can be marked on outer package or directly on a jar or tube. Sometimes dates can be marked on both, in this case all number, dates, letters and hieroglyphs should be the same.

manufacture and expiration dates marking on korean cosmetics boxes

 Also you can see the following image on the product, container or box. 

It means you have to use it within 12 or 18 month from the opening date.

best before date on korean cosmetics boxesI have noticed that some brands leave empty space on the cosmetic tubes to let you mark opening date. In my opinion it's very helpful.

mark your opening date


From February 2017 printing the expiration date became mandatory for all Korean cosmetic samples. 

Now you know almost everything about Korean cosmetics manufacturing/ expiration dates!


Also we want to remind you that the best temperature to keep your cosmetics is +5 C (+41 F) to +20 C (+68 F) and normal humidity. The bathroom is not the best place for it! 

If you have any questions regarding to expiration date please ask

We are here to help you!

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