Make-Up Expiration Dates

Mar 7, 2011 by

Every woman has a few make-up items that they’ve had for years, it might be a favorite lip gloss or an eyeshadow. Did you ever think that wearing that old fave could actually be a bacteria breeding ground? It’s true. Make-up has an expiration date just like food, you wouldn’t drink expired milk so why use expired make-up?

The repercussions of using expired make-up are much worse than they may seem. Using something that is past its prime can lead to infections and breakouts. Just using an old tube of mascara can cause you to go blind if the right germs are present. 

Generally there are manufactures expiration dates on the packaging or the make-up itself, these apply to make-up that has been unopened. If you have opened the product its a ticking time bomb. The best way to store your cosmetics to keep them from growing bacteria in their short shelf life is to keep them in a cool dark room, and always wash your hands before and after using them.

Mascara & Liquid Liner: These are the fastest expiring cosmetic products, you should be replacing them every 4-6 months. If you want your mascara to last the full 6 months you will want to make sure that you are not pumping the tube when you need more product, but instead rubbing along the side of the tube. When you pump the tube repeadedly to get more product you are letting more air in. This is not only going to dry up the mascara, but also allow more bacteria to get in. Do you really want flecks of bacteria clad mascara around your peepers? I think not, besides this gives you an excuse to try something new!

Foundation & Concealer: Whether the foundation is stick, liquid, or cream based the shelf life is between 12 and 18 months. If your foundation says that it is “oil free” you need to pitch it after 12 months, foundations that contain oils can last longer because the oil acts as a preservative. Mineral foundation usually does not come with an expiration date, but since it can become contaminated from coming into contact with the brush and skin you will generally want to throw that out after 18 months also. This isn’t usually a problem for most women, if you’re wearing foundation daily chances are it won’t last more that a few months anyway. Another rule of thumb for foundation is, if it smells funny or has an odd color to it, throw it away.

Blush: Most powder blushes will last for up to 24 months, a cream blush will last from 12 – 18 months. As long as you are cleaning your brushes regularly, and not sticking your fingers into a powder blush it should last until you have used it up completely in most cases. Cream blushes are slightly different, because of the cream texture it is easier for them to grow bacteria, especially if you are using your fingers to apply it. There are not many warning signs for powder blushes, so if it starts to apply funny or the color changes, its time to pitch it.

Lipstick, Lip Liner, & Lipgloss: These products all tend to hold up well over time, especially if you are using a brush to apply them. Generally they will all last for up to 24 months. The majority of the time it will be long used up before it expires. However, if the products dry out, change color, a 3 year old attacks it, or have an odor, no matter how old they are, throw them out. That’s a warning sign that something is not quite right with them.

Powder, Eyeliner, and Eyeshadow: Each of these products should last about 24 months, like with most products they will last longer if you take care of them. If face powders get cakey or start to change color they should be thrown out, if an eyeliner is starting to dry out or crumble it needs to be replaced, and lastly if an eyeshadow seperates or breaks it should be replaced.

Keep in mind that once a product is open it starts to deteriorate, it’s always a good idea to wrote on the product when you opened it so you know when to get rid of it.





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