When do your makeup products expire?

Today I decided to give my makeup products a thorough clean out. As part of my Spring cleaning, I decided to start decluttering and organizing my closets. I stumbled upon my makeup bag and a drawer I use to keep my beauty products. I used to travel a lot and I have many makeup travel sets, some of which I haven’t used for a long time. Also, Christmas-gift makeup palettes, too many lipsticks, powder and liquid face make ups, many different shades of eyeshadows, more than 5 mascaras… you get the picture.

I believe most of us women have usually more makeup products in our closets or bathrooms than we use in everyday bases (please, tell me I am not alone). We are always buying an extra nail polish, a new set of eyeshadows, a couple of lipsticks to refresh our look, that powder that our favorite actor is using… and we are stocking our makeup bags with new products without tossing the old ones. Even if we have just bought the latest trend in eyeshadows, we are hooked on our old favorite eyeshadow. Nothing wrong with that, but have you ever wondered how long can you keep your makeup products? When should you toss them away, because they may cause you serious problems if you keep on using them?

Some of the beauty products we use actually have an expiration date written on, not a specific date like food products have, but a jar picture with a number followed by the letter M. In case you don’t know it, this indicates the time you can keep this product after opening it – 6 months, 12 months, 18 months etc. So, do a thorough search of your beauty products and see if you can spot this picture.

Most of the makeup products, however, usually don’t have that picture. This does not mean you can keep them forever. Here are some of the most common makeup products and the recommended time you can use them with safety after opening them for the first time:

• Mascara: 3 to 6 months. Mascara can easily get infected by bacteria from your eyes, so it is not safe to keep it longer than 6 months. Of course, if your mascara dries out before that period of time, you should toss it away immediately.

• Eye pencil: up to 2 years. I suggest you sharpen it before each application.

• Powder eye shadows: up to 2 years. Clean your applicator often and keep them in a dry place (your bathroom may not be the ideal place).

• Liquid eye shadows: up to 12 months. Also clean your applicator often.

• Liquid eyeliner: 3 to 6 months.

• Pencil eyeliner: up to 2 years.

• Lipstick: up to 2 years.

• Powder blush: up to 2 years.

• Cream blush: up to 12 months.

• Powder foundation: up to 2 years.

• Liquid foundation: 6 to 12 months. Usually you will find the jar picture on liquid foundations, because their expiration time depends a lot on their ingredients.

• Concealer: 12 to 18 months.

• Nail polish: 1 to 2 years.

You should always keep your cosmetics in a dry place, away from sun. When you open a product for the first time, put a sticker on and write the date, so that you can easily check how long you have had it for and when you should throw it away. You should clean your makeup brushes and applicators often. See how here.

Of course, if you see any sign of distortion in any product, for instance separation of ingredients, unusual smell, any change of texture, you should immediately throw it away.

When was the last time you cleaned out your makeup bag?

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2 thoughts on “When do your makeup products expire?”

  1. EEK! I feel like I usually only ditch my make up when I’m in the mood for a new color – – you know, once every 5-7 years. I’m a little grossed out by myself right now! I’ll be checking back for more useful info that will make me question my life choices…

    1. I used to keep my lipsticks and eyeshadows for many years. Even the ones I had stopped using. You know, just in case I want to use them someday. A couple of years ago, I learned that this can be dangerous for my skin. I try to clean out my makeup products from time to time now.

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