Makeup expires and so do all beauty products. Like most things we consume, makeup has a shelf life or expiration date. It can be confusing to figure out when to toss a beauty product, so I decided to write a whole blog posted dedicated to makeup shelf life. Stay tuned for one about skincare shelf life and expirations. If you can’t wait, I discuss it with Kerry Hite over on Behind The Beauty Podcast Season 2, Episode 7. You can listen to the episode here or watch it here. Makeup shelf life differs from product to product. Key factors to how long makeup stays good include packaging and ingredients. While I cannot write a post for every product out there, here is a good general guideline. Happy Spring cleaning!
WHAT IS MAKEUP SHELF LIFE?
All beauty products have an expiration symbol on them. The symbol looks like an open jar with a number before “M.” The number indicates how many months the product is good for from opening. Makeup and skincare start to go bad the second it is exposed to air. Most beauty products have an actual shelf life of 2 years and up! That means products can be made in large batches and stored in warehouses for years before reaching the consumer. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on makeup shelf life meaning when it goes bad in your possession.
MAKEUP SHELF LIFE
Because it’s officially spring, I’ve been decluttering my makeup collection. My first step to any declutter session is to go through all the products by category from how I apply them. Again, remember this is a general guideline to help you with determining when to toss a product. First check out the handy symbol on your products. Can’t remember when you opened it? Then it’s probably time to go. When in doubt, use good judgment. I like to ask myself these three questions to determine if it’ll stay or go in the trash.
- Does the product look different from when you originally bought it? If yes, toss.
- Does is smell funky? Is it separating? If yes, toss.
- Have you used it in the last 3 months? If no, toss.
Oil Free Foundations 12 months
Cream Compact Foundations 18 months
Liquid Foundations 12-24 months depending on the ingredients
Remember to also consider how much air your foundation is exposed to. Does the foundation come in a pump? Is it a pour out? Pour out foundations are exposed to more air, there for causing them to breed bacteria faster. Have you stuck your finger in it? No matter how many times you wash your hands and face, your skin has tiny bugs that will contaminate your makeup. So, if you have touched the product to your hands or face, odds are the makeup is going to go bad faster. Don’t believe me, listen to the podcast episode with Kerry, she’ll convince you to never touch your products again.
Stick Concealers 12-18 months (I’ve had some say 24 months)
Liquid and Cream Concealers 6 months (the kind that comes with a doe foot applicator)
Same rules apply for concealers as foundations. A big one is to remember to avoid using your fingers for pot concealers. Remember all those tiny bugs on your fingers, yeah they are now living and breeding in your jar concealer. Invest in a small spatula or use a qtip to disperse product.
Powder Makeup 24 months
Because powder makeup like bronzers, blushes, and highlighters are dry, it takes longer for bacteria to grow. So go ahead a continue to hoard your powders a bit longer. Don’t forget to clean your brushes frequently! The oils and bacteria from your brushes can spread to your powders if you do not clean often. (To be completely honest, I gotta get better about cleaning my brushes myself)
Pencil Eyeliners 24 months (my tip is if you haven’t used one in awhile, sharpen them before use. This will shave off some of the germs)
Liquid or Gel Eyeliners 3 months
Don’t be stingy here, these products are going near or in your eyes! When in doubt TOSS!
Lipstick 12 months
Lip liner 12 months
Lip Gloss 18-24 months
I’m not exactly sure why lip gloss last longer than lipsticks, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the waxes and oils in lipsticks. Personally I can smell when a lipstick is bad. I’ve made the mistake of putting on one that smelled bad because it was Tom Ford and who wants to toss a $50 lipstick? Well, lesson learned. My lips immediately felt itch, chapped, and uncomfortable. Trust me guys, you’ll know when something is wrong, but hopefully these guidelines will help you avoid having to be a guinea pig.
Mascara 3 months
Again, this is something you put on your eyes and will most likely get in your eyes. Don’t be stingy, replace your mascaras often!
Fragrances 6-18 months as soon as fragrances are opened, they start to deteriorate. Light, citrus based scents as little as 6 months from opening. Floral scents 12 to 18 months.
Not sure where to throw fragrances in since it’s not quite skincare and not quite makeup, so I figure I’d add them into this post. To be completely honest, I keep my fragrances way longer than 18 months. Until I notice a change in the fragrance, I keep them around. Now if you are sensitive and have allergies, I would recommend following the expiration dates, but otherwise, I say here is a place you can hoard a bit more.
NOW BE HONEST…
How bad are you? Leave me a comment telling me what the oldest thing in your makeup collection is. What’s that one product you just can’t bring yourself to toss even though you know it’s been years. I’d love to hear your confessions. Mine is foundations and concealers, I don’t know why I have a hard time letting go of concealers and foundations, when I know they are bad. I won’t even wear them anymore, but I just can’t toss them either. There’s always the what if mentality.
I hope this post helped clear up any confusion you might have had about makeup shelf life. Maybe it’s inspired you to toss a few things this spring. I know that I constantly am trying to declutter and purging old products based on shelf life has helped me start somewhere.
Don’t forget to
subscribe to my newsletter! April is my birthday month and I’ll be choosing 3 winners for my monthly newsletter subscribers. Make sure to opt in to the email confirmation and click on all the topics you’d like to be notified of.
We also recently launched an official YouTube Channel for Behind The Beauty Podcast. You’ll be able to find all the interviews on this channel. Subscribe here. Lastly, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, you should! I do bonus weekly giveaways over on my Insta Stories.