Here’s what you need to know about makeup expiration dates


Even if you are not a professional makeup artist, everyone’s makeup bag at some point tends to be full of old products. I know it’s hard to get rid of your favorite lipstick or mascara, but you can’t ignore that makeup expiration dates are very important. If you didn’t already know, all kinds of cosmetics can trap germs and grow bacteria. If they are not replaced in time, you may have problems with skin irritations, breakouts, eye infections, etc. Oh! Trust me, you really don’t want to risk that. Consider this your wake-up call to doing a little spring cleaning and cleaning your makeup bag.

But where do you start, you might ask? Cosmetics of all kinds usually depend on the first day you use them, not the date of purchase. Look for that little jar symbol stamped with a number and letter inside. For example, if it’s 6M, it usually means the product has a 6-month shelf life when opened, after which you need to throw it away. Aside from this symbol, it is critical to be aware of telltale signs that your products may have spoiled for another reason. It could be due to heat, temperature changes, or the lid not closing properly. Either way, it’s also helpful to know how long different types of products should last. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to what you need to know about when it’s time to ditch your beauty purchases.

1. Foundation and concealer

The life of your foundation and concealer will depend on the ingredients. A water-based product will last up to 12 months, while oil-based foundations will last up to 18 months. Some formulas can only last 6 months! The best way to keep your foundations germ-free is to use pump products or simply keep your fingers away from the neck of the bottle. You may notice that your foundation or concealer has gone bad when the oils rise to the surface and you notice a change in texture or consistency.

Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation by L'Oreal Paris |  (Source: www.lorealparis.com)
Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation by L’Oreal Paris

2. Powders

People often forget that makeup expiration dates also apply to powders. Technically, they can last between 18 and 24 months. Powdered products like blush and bronzer don’t contain water, making it harder for bacteria to grow. Thus allowing them to have a longer useful life. However, over time, you may notice a hard edge on the powder. This is because the minerals in blush mix with the oils in your skin over time. The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure to actively and regularly clean your brushes. Otherwise, the oils will stick to the bristles of your brush and transfer to your product.

Tarte, Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush In Blushing Bride (Source: www.tartecosmetics.com)
Tarte, Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush with Bridal Blush

3. Cream sticks

Do you know those multipurpose sticks that we all love so much? Well, if they are taken good care of, they can last between 12 and 18 months. If you notice any change in texture or smell, it means it’s time to throw it out. Always use clean hands when working with cream products and make sure the lids are tight to keep them germ-free.

Nudestix Nudies Bloom In 'Cherry Blossom Babe' (Source: www.nudestix.com)
Nudestix Nudies Bloom in ‘Cherry Blossom Babe’

4. Lip products

Lipsticks, lip glosses, balms, pencils, you name it, can last for about a year. Make your favorite red last longer by keeping it in a cool, dry place. If not, you may start to notice that it goes bad by drying out or getting sticky due to changes in temperature.

Charlotte Tilbury, Matte Revolution Pillow Talk Original (source: www.charlottletilbury.com)
Charlotte Tilbury, Matte Revolution Pillow Talk Original

5. Mascara

You can never be too careful with your eyes! Mascara expiration dates are arguably the most important to keep in mind. You must replace them every 3 months; otherwise, you risk getting an eye infection. Maybe even earlier if you notice the formula getting clumpy or starting to smell funny. Humid environments harbor bacteria, which is why our most beloved beauty product has such a short expiration period. It can be heartbreaking to watch it expire, but in the long run it’s better to throw away that mascara now.

Essence, Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (Source: www.essencemakeup.com)
Essence, Lash Princess False Eyelash Effect Mascara

6. Eyeliner

Depending on the formula, eyeliners can last anywhere from three months to three years. Pencil eyeliners have greater lasting power because as you sharpen them, you eliminate the bacteria that are collected by using them on your eyes. While liquid and gel eyeliners easily trap bacteria similar to masks, so they should only be used for a few months.

Sugar Gloss Boss 24HR Eyeliner
Sugar Gloss Boss 24HR Eyeliner

7. Eyeshadow

While powder eye shadows can last as long as other powder products because they are worn around the eyes, they have a shorter shelf life. In general, powder eyeshadows can last 6-12 months before they need to be replaced.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam |  Source: www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com
Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam

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