If you have a carton of milk in your refrigerator that's a bit past its expiration date, what do you do? You might sniff the milk to assess its freshness and decide whether to drink it or toss it. Usually, food expiration dates refer to the last date the item is guaranteed to be at its peak, as Consumer Reports notes. Drinking milk that expired a few days ago isn't likely to cause harm.
What about cosmetic products or drugs — or products straddling both categories? For instance, does mouthwash expire? You're likely to see expiration dates on some personal care, cosmetic and drug products. Should you pay close attention to when those products expire, or should you take the milk approach and use your best judgment when it comes to using or discarding the product?