Does makeup expire? Unfortunately it does, usually as it lies unused at the bottom of your makeup bag or in a drawer in your bedroom.
It’s not something you really have to worry about on products you use every day though.
Makeup expiration dates will generally be long enough to use the amount of product in the container as long as you use it regularly.
As you can imagine I have quite a stash of makeup, and I have to say I am pretty bad at weeding it out and getting rid of stuff that has passed the date it should be used. That’s because I generally don’t like to get rid of mistakes just after I bought them – it seems like a waste of money – they have to be got rid of some time later when the memory of the credit card bill has faded and it won’t hurt so much!
Another problem I have is that I get pulled into buying products like a new mascara by the very seductive adverts cosmetic companies run and then I can’t resist opening it before I have used up the last one. Having two (or more) mascaras open at once is a recipe for letting them get past their expiry date.
How Long Should You Keep Make Up For?
There is a new cosmetics expiration date mark that you might see on some packaging called the “Period After Opening symbol”.
It is like a little open cosmetics pot and has a number either written on it or below it usually with an “M” showing how long the product will last in months. The symbol will usually be tiny and is often near the bar code but I find them on a lot of the makeup I buy these days.
The clock ONLY starts ticking after you open cosmetics so there is no sell by date on them as a rule like you find with food.
The shelf life of cosmetics is pretty long until they are exposed to the air, which can cause oxidation and introduce contaminants. The product has to deal with other hazards as well like your fingers which can massively increase the levels of bacteria in makeup.
|How to Remember when You First Opened a Product
EITHER Stick a tiny label onto the container with the date on it OR keep a note of the date you opened the product on the back page of your diary or in a notebook OR if you’re not technologically challenged send yourself a reminder on your PC, cellphone or ipad.
For safe make up try never to dip your fingers into a pot. Always transfer makeup from the container with a clean makeup brush or a cotton swab.
Also keep your makeup in a dark drawer and don’t leave it exposed to the sun or anywhere too hot which can affect cosmetics shelf life.
Make Up Expiration Dates
The dates below apply if you don’t see the little cosmetic expiration date symbol on the packaging.
Mascara Does mascara expire quickly? You bet! Mascara expiration is the fastest of all cosmetics. It lasts no longer than 3 months and should also be thrown away if you ever get any eye infection. Never share mascara with a friend.
Liquid Eyeliner Dispose of this after 3 to 6 months too.
Foundation It depends on the formula but around 12 to 18 months. We tend not to have too many foundations going at one time but if you don’t use your foundation regularly it might be time to renew. If it smells strange definitely get rid of it. Its not worth your skin breaking out.
Concealer 6 months (liquid) or 12 months (solid, if you always use a clean brush)
Lipstick We tend to have quite a few lipsticks on the go at the same time so it’s a shame that the answer to the “does lipstick expire” question is a definitive yes as well. At least these last up to 18 months. Now there’s an excuse to apply lipstick all the time and get your money’s worth from the colors you own before the lipstick expiration date creeps up on you. On the other hand if there’s some reason you never liked a particular lipstick you may as well get rid of it now instead of letting it clutter up your makeup collection. Throw out lipsticks too if you have used them just before developing a cold sore.
|If You Can’t Remember
If you can’t remember when you opened something, throw it out and treat yourself to a replacement if
Eye shadow You can keep these 18 months as long as you don’t get any eye infections. If you do, it’s time for a new set of eye makeup. Eye (and lip) pencils can last 2 or 3 years. Resharpen to give a “clean” point. But the same advice on infections applies.
Blush or Pressed Powder These last 12 to 18 months tops too
Loose Powder This has a slightly longer cosmetic shelf life of 2 to 3 years. Just make sure you always use it with a clean brush.
All Natural Organic Makeup This makeup has no preservatives so don’t keep it longer than 6 months.
Nail Polish There’s no danger to your nails from nail polish going past it’s shelf life of a year or two but when it’s old it will probably go thick and chip and peel more easily so you may as well get rid of it.
Other Beauty Products Expiration Dates
Natural and organic moisturizers and cleansers : 6 to 9 months
Eye Cream : 6 months to a year
Self tanning products : 6 months
Sun Screens : 6 months (don’t keep open bottles from one year to the next as the protection will be reduced)
Non-natural moisturizers and cleansers : 18 to 24 months
Fragrance : 2 to 3 years (if it smells off it is!) Make fragrance last longer by keeping the bottle in a cool dark place.