Good Makeup DOES Go Bad: How To Know When Makeup’s Expired

Danger, beauties! Do you know what’s lurking in your makeup bag?

Though makeup’s expiration date may not be as externally evident as food, the risk for breeding harmful bacteria that can lead to infections is still present. Odds are you’re adorning your face in expired makeup, but it’s never too late to make a change.

Begin calculating the expiration date for the following products from the moment you first use them:

  • Powders and shadows: 2 years
  • Cream shadows: 12 to 18 months
  • Foundation: 1 year
  • Lipstick & lip liner: 1 year
  • Mascara & eyeliners: 3 months
  • Makeup brushes: Clean weekly using a mild detergent
  • Makeup sponges: Replace weekly, or when sponge becomes soiled


Tips for Clean Skin and Unsullied Makeup:

  • Preserve Preservatives – Ironic, right? Cosmetics contain preservatives that are best preserved by storing them out of sunlight and always, always tightly closing products.
  • Over Pumping – Don’t continuously pump your mascara wand into the tube. This forces airborne bacteria into the tube that then festers in the closed, humid environment. Instead, when pulling out the wand, twist the wand in order to minimize the trapped air for as long as possible.
  • Smell Test – Take a whiff of your cosmetics and if they exude an usual odor, consider yourself warned – let them go. Same goes for a change in color or texture.
  • Keep Pencils Sharp – Sharpen pencil lip liners and eye liners before each use to decrease the bacteria that grew since the last use.
  • Sampling Spots – Department store sampling is a risky endeavor. If you do test, never apply products directly; instead use a clean disposable applicator (i.e., cotton swab, sponge.
  • Warning – Do NOT share eye products and refrain from using them if you have an eye infection.
  • Store makeup in a clean, dry place. Naturally, that makes the bathroom the WORST place. If possible, we recommend your at-home preservation device, the refrigerator.

It may be tough, but please people, throw makeup away!