Recently Tampa Bay Tan has begun filling their solution products in a new bottle style.  This has added advantages for the end user as far as product handling, storage, freshness and durability.

This is covered in detail in this posting HERE.

With this change, bottles may display a Batch information stamps.

This has created some confusion, so I would like to help explain this here.

These are Batch/Blender Information, not USE BY Information:

The stamped dates are not put on the bottles for consumer use, rather this is for Batch Information for the Blending Use.

Having this stamp, or not having this stamp DOES NOT INDICATE PRODUCT AUTHENTICITY.  This is not related to weather a product is authentic or not. As stamping systems may change from time to time, and some bottles may get stamps, while others may not as part of the normal filling process.

Consumers can certainly use this stamping information for general guidance, but only if you know what this means.

And it is probably not what you are thinking it is. 

The stamping system for Cosmetics differs from that used for Food Stuffs, which often creates some confusion in the Tanning Industry.

Products can be stamped with a “Born By” date or an “Expiration Date” – but neither refer to the products best USE BY date. Every manufacturer will use the dating system that works best for their needs, though USA blended products are not currently required to use any date stamp if they choose not to. It is voluntary.

Looking at the two bottles above, you will see the date numbers are vastly different, yet both bottles were filled with finished solution product within a week of each other.

In the image above, the bottle on the left has a date of 08/2017, while the bottle on the right has a date of 09/2017 EXP.

Many customers have reached out to us, concerned that these are the Product Expiration dates.  Much like a Gallon of milk, which is stamped with a Best Used by date. ( a food item uses different dating systems depending on product type)

However that is NOT what these dates are representative of on Tanning Solution products. As a cosmetic product, the stamping system is not in reference to the best consumption date.

The stamping is for the product batch “base” information, for blending and filling information in the filling division. It is for their use in aging of the products base.

This is not the expected “best used by/consumed by date” for best performance  of the finished product for the consumers use.

The left bottle was stamped with its “Birth/Born By” date. The date that the solution batch base was created.

The right bottle with the EXP date, refers to the batch base expiration date. (1 year out from the Born By date)

In both cases this date is the dating used in the batch blending for the entire product batch. (this in not the fully finished product you receive in a bottled solution)

After a “base” is made it is stored very cold, and then before shipping, other fragile (less stable) ingredients are added, just before it is poured into a bottle for your use.

This is now considered a “finished” solution product. It is then shipped within 5-7 days of being “finished”.

Think of this like the Baker who keeps a mixture of flour, salt and baking soda premixed in a container, in the cupboard for use in making bread, pancakes, and biscuits every week.  When it comes time to make the morning biscuits, or daily bread (usually daily or a few times a week), you grab the base flour mix, and add in the oil, milk, eggs, or other perishable items – blend up the batch. Cook the dough, and have fresh bread.

The commercial version of this would be a product like Bisquick Baking Mix, which is the same product in a box for sale at you grocery store. (It makes some terrific Pancakes by the way)

This allows you to cook up fresh bread stuffs daily, much more quickly, then if you needed to make the entire batch from start to finish every single day.  The flour base mix will expire in about a year from when you mixed it up, but the finished bread products should be consumed in a few days for best taste. They are not good tasting for a years time, even if you refrigerate them.

This is how our Great Grandparents made those Hugh breakfasts daily, with fresh biscuits every morning, in a short time.  Grandma often premade some of her base mix items, and stored them for use as needed.

Tampa Bay Tan Finished Solution products should be fully consumed in about 90 days, from PURCHASE DATE, for best performance.

Tampa Bay Tan solutions are organic and natural ingredient products with a large amount of natural plant ingredients. If they are stored at room temperature they begin to lose their potency, within about 90 days.

The product can still be used in many cases. But as it ages, it loses potency, and efficiency, and ingredients begin to break down. As this occurs the  product may still tan you, but it will have begun to lose many of its organic enhancements that help enhance the tan and nurture, moisturize, plump and heal the skin.

The tanning effectiveness also lightens as a product ages. So a product at full freshness will be at its darkest, and richest in coloration. it will wear and fade optimally, with the best skin beneficial activities.   As it ages, the product may begin to look green in the bottle as the bronzer colors break down, it will begin to tan lighter, and begin to lose it botanical benefits, and the anti-oxidant base will break down.

A tanning solution of a years age, will often be greenish in appearance in the bottle, and tan 2-3 shades lighter (or more) then when product was used at full freshness. Heat damaged product will also act the same way.

If it is stored to warmly (room temperature for example) it can age faster. If it gets hot or is regularly exposed to fluctuations in temperatures, it can go bad in less then 30 days.  (car trunk, hot porch, refrigerator door storage)

If you refrigerate your products, they will hold up much longer. But it depends on where, and how it is stored.

This is much like Bottled Milk. If stored on a counter, milk will expire within a few hours (regardless of the date stamped on the bottle). If stored in a warmer area of the refrigerator, it will expire faster then in a cooler location.

For example if you store it in the refrigerator door, it gets warm every time you open the refrigerator door, and experiences temperature shifts – this can cause a product to degrade faster. This is true with Milk or Tanning solution.

If your solutions are stored in the back of your refrigerator, rather then the door, they stay stable much longer, and would then be more likely to stay at fully potency for all ingredients, for the longest time range.  Keeping them in smaller containers, limiting air exposure, will also extend their life range.

What is the best USE by date on solutions?

Tampa Bay Tan uses a many natural and organic ingredients in all their solution lines, as well as a paraben free preservation system, that meets requirements for organic labeling of cosmetics. As such the products have a shelf life, or recommended consumption date.

This expertation time frame begins to count down when your product is filled, which is 7 days or less from your purchase date.  As such products should be fully consumed within 90 days of the purchase date for optimal performance.

The package product label notes to use within 90 days of purchase for best freshness.  This is normally the information most consumers would use for correct use and storage of the product. This information is also listed on all product pages online, for clarity.

This does not mean a product is “bad” on day 91, or even that a product is at perfect potency on day 89. Rather this is the recommended “range” to get the best use out of your products. Through this time frame, you should get best color, best wear, best fade, and optimal skin benefits – BUT this will also depend on how you are storing and using your products.

Solution left on the counter in a spray-gun cup attached to the spray gun is exposed to heat, and oxygen, and will have degraded more then solution caped, with minimal air in the container, stored int he back of the refrigerator.

Solution stored in a cabinet under a sink exposed to hot water pipes, or in a room with heating and air vents where temperatures are room temperature range will degrade faster then solution refrigerated.  Even a cool basement or cool room, is warmer in temperature then the refrigerator.

I am now confused – So why is this date even on there?

The date is on there as an indication of products recommended disposal date, in reference to potency of the preservation system in the product.

In other words, the product should NOT be used after this date, as it may begin to experience fungal growth after this point, as the preservatives will have begin to lose their effectiveness. So it should not be applied to human skin for health, safety and sanitary reasons. So for “Safety” reasons, this is the effective Expiration date.

This does not mean that a product which is 11 months old is going to tan well, work correctly, or may not be green. It is indicative of the approximate state of the preservative state in the product. Not an indication of Product Performance.

Product that is 1 year and 3 days old, is not a toxic sludge ether. But the preservatives can no longer be relied upon to fully keep the product fresh and safe for skin use.

This is similar to the dating system used on many skincare cosmetics such as foundations, lip products, skin treatments, mascara and such. Products can be stamped with a Birth Date, Expiration Date and in some cases a PAO date.

Though the date on the bottom of your favorite cosmetic may be 1-3 years out (or more) from the blending date, the products should normally be used much faster for the best performance.

1 year or less from purchase date depending on product type, brand, packaging, how it is stored. Eye products should be fully use in about three-four months. Wrinkle products, serums should be used in 6 moths to 1 year. Lip products and foundations  can last a year. Powders about two years. Organic natural products should be consumed in 6 months or less, depending on product brand, packaging style, and product type.

Some cosmetics also now carry a Period after opening (PAO)  date, which means the date the product should be disposed of after opening.  So if the PAO date is 6M, the product should be used within 6 months of opening.  Not the products expiration date, which may be longer.

Tampa Bay Tan Tanning Solutions should be used within 90 days of PURCHASE – NOT opening, so this would not apply to Tampa Bay Tan solutions. And best recommendation would be cool storage, refrigeration preferred.

More information on PAO dates and cosmetics aging can be found HERE.