Yes Girl, Make-ups Expire


“Unopened, well-formulated cosmetics can remain stable for a couple of years at room temperature, but the clock starts once you bring a product home and open it. When air hits the formula, certain ingredients start to oxidize and degrade.”

-Ni’Kita Wilson, cosmetic chemist, Cosmetech Laboratories, Fairfield, NJ

Even if THAT make-up came with a hefty price tag, you can do nothing but toss it out once it hits the D-line and starts to look like – well, not the way you bought it. Yes, make-ups have expiration dates and you have to be on guard whether what you’re using is way past its shelf life.

Lipstick and Lipgloss

Rows of lipstick

Shelf Life: 1-2 years

Lip talk: Lipsticks contain water, an element that promotes bacterial growth. After two years, you need to throw it out of your purse.



Shelf Life: 2 years or more

Shape your lips: Lipliners last a little longer because a new, clean surface comes out whenever you sharpen it. Just do take note that you have to sanitize your cosmetic sharpener too before using! 

Face Make-up

Face make

Shelf Life: 6 months (liquid), 2 years (powder)

Retouch: A liquid foundation is more likely to catch germs because of the way it is used. Frequent dipping of your brush or fingers to the foundation transfers bacteria. Aside from cleanliness issues, foundations also become uneven if applied when they’re already expired. Powder foundations last longer because they have no water content. However, if the powder contains aloe or jojoba, it becomes hard and crumbles after a long time. Another piece of advice too – use a clean sponge for your powder or cake foundation. 


2 woodless graphite pencils in plastic sheaths...

 Shelf Life: 3 months (liquid), 6 months (pencil)

Beautiful eyes: Liquid eyeliners are stored in bottles that are dark and wet – the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and multiply. On the other hand, pencil eyeliners (like pencil lipliners) have more shelf life than liquid ones because a new surface comes out whenever you sharpen it.

Eye Shadow

Eye shadow

Image by kurafire via Flickr

Shelf Life: 6 months (cream), 2 years (powder)

Add some color:

A powder eye-shadow lasts longer because it contains no water as compared to the cream one. However, if you did wet a powder shadow, you need to toss it out post six months too. Plus, if its shade fades when applied, it’s game over. 


Woman applying make-up. Canon 5D Mark II Sigma...

Image via Wikipedia

Shelf Life: 3 months

Lengthen your lashes: Just like liquid eyeliners, mascara tubes serve as sanctuaries for bacteria. Cristina Bartolucci (make-up artist) says that to prevent drying-out your mascara fast, don’t pump its wand. Instead, draw it out in a twisting motion.

Remind yourself:

With all the work to do and busy life to live, who would care much about remembering a make-up’s demise? Keeping track of your make-up’s shelf life can be difficult – yet you can always be resourceful. Keep a journal or put a small expiration date label on your cosmetic. If you want, you can be extra creative by printing girly stickers (with the expiration dates) – you’re not just doing yourself a favor but you’re also prettifying your beauty arsenal! 

If you’re the techie kind of gal, you can use the help of technology by using a Cosmetic Calculator. It’s a program that reveals the expiration date of a cosmetic using its batch code or lot number.

It’s always heart-breaking to throw something you know is precious like your favorite make up. But life’s like that. No matter how important a thing is to us, when it’s time to let it go – let it go!

Good thing though, when it comes to cosmetics you can always buy a new one or find something better than the one you threw away. Save yourself from all infections, allergies, and skin diseases – know when to throw your make-up, girl!

Don’t forget: You can be a Scrooge for items that expire easily, but do invest big in make-ups that last longer. Moreover, do not settle for “extremely cheap” make-ups just for the reason that you’re gonna toss it out anyway. Remember, you put make-ups on your FACE – a beautiful one deserves nothing but the best.

Topic source: Good Housekeeping

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