How Long Can Beauty Products Last?

All beauty products have a shelf life, if not thrown in time or still used can cause skin irritation and eye infections.

Beauty Products

Expired cosmetics become breeding grounds for bacteria, so, do not pile up make up products in the drawer for sometime use.

How to know the life span? Most makeup packaging includes a small symbol that tells you how long the product will last after opening. The symbol looks like a jar with the lid open.

Here are guidelines on how long makeup generally lasts, and how to tell when it’s time to replace.

Mascara- (life span- 2-3 months) The mascara wand while being used, is taken out, applied, and put back in the tube, this can bring with it any bacteria that might have collected along the way. This bacteria can cause redness and itchiness, possibly even pink eye and sties. Once expired, it will have a distinct gasoline-like smell. Also avoid leaving your makeup in the car, as heat encourages the growth of bacteria and speeds up the spoiling. If you develop any symptoms of an eye infection, throw out any eye makeup that may have been contaminated. It is better to be safe than sorry. If the symptoms persist, see an eye doctor.

Foundations (life span- 6-12 months). Applying expired foundation can cause breakouts and irritation. Watch out for a change in color or any ‘off’ smells. This lets you know that you need to toss it. Keep your foundation out of heat and moist environments like your bathroom as this spoils the product. Foundation will last longer if you apply it with a sponge or brush. If you use your fingers, make sure that they are clean, but you if you use this method, you probably should pitch it after 2 ‘ 6 months.

Concealer (life span 1-2 years) In powder or stick form it can last for up to two years. Liquid concealers should be tossed after one year. When it has gone bad, the color will start to shift. Avoid using expired concealer, as it will create more blemishes that will need to be covered.

Face Powders and Blusher ( life span- about 1 ½ years) Keep your cosmetics in a cool, dark, dry place and make sure the containers are tightly closed so as to avoid any unwanted bacteria from spoiling the product.

Cream blush (life span- 1 year) If the product gets wet, you run the risk of bacteria growth. Clean your blush brush regularly.

Eye shadows (life span- 3 months) There is a higher risk of transferring bacteria to the product and then to your eyes. Cream eye shadows can grow bacteria more quickly than the powder ones, so pay close attention to those. You may notice a white, chalky layer on top of the creams. When this happens, toss it. Try to use a clean brush when applying powder eye shadows. If you must use your finger, make sure you wash your hands first. As with most makeup, beware of any color changes or smells. These are definite signs that the product has reached the end of its life.

 How Long Can Beauty Products Last?Eyeliners ( life span- 3 months) These products are in contact with the sensitive eye area and can transfer bacteria very easily. Pencil liner will last a bit longer than liquid, especially if you are good about sharpening them each time. Once a white film develops on the tip, toss it!

Lipsticks and lip glosses (life span: 1 year).The product will become hard and the color doesn’t apply well. Lip gloss needs to go when it becomes globby and smells stale. Never share lipsticks.

Cream & gel cleansers (life span-1 year)

Multi-purpose make-up (life span- 6 months)Being able to use a product on the lips, cheeks and eyes may save money and time, but it can also lead to contamination as product is transferred from one area to another.

Nail Polish (life span- 1-2 year) It won’t fully mix when you shake it. Always examine polishes for separation and if the lacquer is too thick upon application, toss.

Make-up brushes that are regularly cleaned and stored properly will last for years. It’s time to splurge on some new ones when the bristles start to fall out. It is recommended to clean your brushes thoroughly every 2 weeks, and wipe them on a dry paper towel after each use. Makeup sponges should be replaced after two uses otherwise they become bacteria traps.

Always check before you use & reuse.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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