All About | Makeup Expiration Dates

Before I started getting into makeup, I never knew makeup expired. Yep, it expires…in case you didn’t know. Things like mascaras and even nail polishes all have an expiration date. While using old makeup won’t make you sick, it can cause breakouts, irritation or just not work as well as it used to. 

So let’s find out how long you can hold on to your favorite products and how to know when to toss them away.

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Expiration Dates

Where can I find the expiration date? | Unlike food, cosmetic companies aren’t required to place an expiration date on their packaging, but a few brands do list them anyway. Some products have the month, date and year printed on the packaging. Others, in most cases, have a symbol of a jar with an open lid, number and letter. The open lid means the expiration date applies once the product is open. The letter is usually an “M” for month or a “Y” for year. So if you see “24M” that means the product will last up to 24 months after you’ve opened it. Usually you can find these symbols on the bottom of the product or on the box.

Typically, how long do ____ last?

  • Powders —> Includes blushes and eyeshadows
    • Shelf-Life: 2 Years
    • When To Toss: Once they dry up and get flaky.
  • Foundations
    • Shelf-Life: 6-12 Months
    • When To Toss: Once it’s not working like it used to, smells bad, it begins to separate into layers in the jar…toss it out!
  • Creams
    • Shelf-Life: 12-18 Months
    • When To Toss: Once they dry up, 
  • Concealers
    • Shelf-Life: 6-12 Months
    • When To Toss: Like foundations.
  • Lip/Eye Pencils
    • Shelf-Life: 12-18 Months
    • When To Toss: Once they dry up and become harder to work with.
  • Mascara
    • Shelf-Life: 2-3 Months
    • When To Toss: Once it starts clumping, smelling bad, or flaking really badly.
      • Tip: Don’t share mascaras! Mascara tubes can harbor a TON of bacteria.
  • Nail Polish
    • Shelf-Life: 1-2 Years
    • When To Toss: Once it starts getting goopy or won’t blend after a quick shake…toss it!
      • Tip: Nail polish thinner increases the longevity of polishes!
  • Lipsticks/Lip Glosses
    • Shelf-Life: 12-24 Months
    • When To Toss: Once it has started drying out or getting too sticky. 
  • Fragrances
    • Shelf-Life: 8-10 Years
    • When To Toss: When the color lightens or it starts smelling different. 
  • Lotion
    • Shelf-Life: 2 Years
    • When To Toss: Once there is a change in color or smell. 

Extra Tips

Always store makeup in cool, dry places.

Always make sure caps are sealed tightly.

Keep makeup away from direct sunlight, as this can destroy the preservatives.

Don’t use any eye products if you have an eye infection.

I hope you have found this post helpful! I know it can be a lot of information to take it, but we must always take care of our skin. The last thing we want is irritated skin due to an expired product.

If you’d like to read more posts from this series, please click here!

Until next time beauties!

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