Is It Time To Throw Away Your Makeup Products?

Is It Time To Throw Away Your Makeup Products?

If you don’t believe that makeup products have expiration dates, then you might want to reconsider it. Cosmetic products have a shelf life like any other product you use. They may not expire in a span of a few days and not having an expiry label does not mean they don’t expire ever.

Common makeup products like lipsticks, eyeliners, mascara, foundation, eye shadows, etc may do their job even after expiry. But, your skin may be the one bearing the after effects.


So, if you have been using your products for way too long, it may be time for you to throw away those products and invest in new ones.

Before we go into the details of how long cosmetics last, let’s examine the factors that affect the shelf life of your makeup products.


Factors Affecting Shelf Life Of Your Makeup Products

Environmental factors like moisture and other factors affect the shelf life of your makeup products. Here are a few common factors that may cause cosmetic products to expire:1

  • Using your fingers to apply a product on your face causes it to be exposed to microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. The exposure to microorganisms is controlled by the use of preservatives.
  • With time, preservatives may break down allowing microorganisms to enter the products and multiply.
  • Applicators like mascara brushes or wands are exposed to bacteria and fungi during every use.
  • Emulsions that comprise oil and water may separate out with time. Creams, lotions, and moisturizers are common cosmetic products that use emulsions.
  • When cosmetic products are exposed to moisture, bacteria and fungi tend to grow faster and easier causing them to expire soon.
  • Products like mascara and liquid eyeliners may dry out if they are used for too long, increasing the chances of infections.

If you wish to retain your skin in its original form without skin conditions like acne or any other infections, it is important to discard your makeup products before they turn bad.


Here are a few common cosmetic products women use daily and an estimate on how long they may last in your makeup box.

1. Eyeliners And Mascara

Eyeliners and Mascara Last For Three To Six Months


Eyeliners and mascaras sure enhance how your eyes appear; but, they should be used carefully. Liquid or gel eyeliners, in particular, may be home to microorganisms like bacteria every time you dip your brush to apply them.

Bacteria exist naturally on your eyelashes and every time you apply liquid liners with a brush, it comes in contact with the liner in the container. Keeping it for way too long may affect your lashes causing them to fall off or may even cause infections. Similarly, using mascaras for too long may cause similar effects.


Liquid liners and mascaras should be used for three months if you use them regularly. If you use them occasionally, you can keep them for about six months.

2. Lipstick And Lip Gloss

Lipsticks Last For About A Year


Whether it is a party or just any other day at work, most women use lipsticks or lip gloss to give their lips that extra color. On the bright side, these may last longer if you use them with good care and hygiene.

Lipsticks and lip glosses have preservatives that allow them to kill germs that enter the product. This way the products are safe from germs and may not be unhygienic for use.


Lipsticks and lip gloss may last for 12–18 months. One year is a good time to use your lip colors and flaunt them; make sure to throw them away if you find a change in their texture or give off a funny smell.

3. Foundation

Liquid Foundations Can Be Used For Six Months

Liquid foundations are generally used to give your skin an even tone and to hide any pigmentation issues. Liquid makeup, which also includes liquid concealers, generally requires to be stored in dark areas, away from sunlight.

In direct sunlight, chances of splitting and spoiling faster are high; therefore, it is important to store them in the right places.

Liquid cosmetic products like foundations and concealers begin to expire six months from the time the products are unsealed. Water-based liquid products may even last up to a year while oil-based liquid products may last a few more months longer.

4. Powders

Cosmetic Powders Last For A Year

Eye shadows, powder blush, compact powder or face powder, etc are available in the form of powders which means they are dry products. However, even dry products have a limited shelf life.

These cosmetic products do not contain water, which means that it may become hard for bacteria and other microorganisms to breed and multiply. This is a good thing, of course.

However, every time you use a brush to apply the respective powders on the face, bacteria come in contact with the powder. It is always better to change your powders once they are a year old.

Now that you know how long you can keep your makeup products, don’t keep them longer than the time suggested. To improve your products’ shelf life, here are a few tips to use them appropriately.

Tips To Use Cosmetic Products And Keep Them Safe

The shelf life of your makeup product depends on how you use them. Using them in an appropriate manner will allow you to keep them germ-free for longer and, in turn, increases their durability.2

  • When using liquid cosmetics like mascara, eyeliners, or liquid foundations, do not add water to the tube or container if they dry out. Do not try to moisten the product with your saliva either. These are ways you may introduce bacteria into the product, resulting in infections.
  • Sharing makeup products may not be a good idea because it means you are more prone to infections. Using the same makeup brushes or mascara wands may cause a spread of the infections. Be aware of testers that may be available in cosmetic stores. Use a new cotton swab to test the product on your skin.
  • Whether you use a cosmetic product every day or occasionally, it is important to keep the containers clean.
  • Storing cosmetic products is an important factor that may increase or decrease their shelf life. Avoid storing makeup products in direct sunlight like your car. This will cause the preservatives to break down inviting germs and bacteria to invade the product.
  • Clean your makeup brushes at least twice a week. The brushes you use to apply makeup on your eyes, try to spot clean them to avoid infections.

So, even though you may love your eye shadows and you spent a lot to purchase them, do not keep them for longer than their expiry dates. While purchasing your cosmetic product, read the label carefully because you can never go wrong with that and it’s almost foolproof!