When Should You Throw Away Your Makeup?

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years
Last Updated on

We all love wearing makeup, don’t we? If you are a beauty hoarder, your drawers must be flooded with blushes, mascara and eyeshadows and nail paints. No matter what, we don’t have the heart to throw them away, right? We usually wait till our lip glosses have a gooey consistency, nailpolish separate into different liquids or lipstick end up with white fungus or a funny smell, before throwing them away. But, it doesn’t really work that way! Ignoring the expiry of your makeup products can result in bacterial accumulation or even product reformulation, which can lead to severe acne, breakouts and other skin infections. Yes, you heard it right, every makeup has a particular life span after which you should bid it adieu—no matter how expensive or cheap it is! Here are some guidelines on makeup life span for you to follow:

Guidelines On Makeup Life Span:

Before telling you about the expiration dates for makeup, here are a few useful tips that can affect the makeup product’s shelf life. If you take care of your makeup products with these tips, you can safely use them slightly beyond the expiry date.

1. Sanitized Hands:

Always start applying makeup with clean and sanitized hands to prevent bacterial accumulation. This tip is really helpful for your skin as well as for the makeup products.

2. No Sharing Makeup:

People may warn you not to share your secrets, but I would say you can share your secrets but not makeup! Swapping makeup products means trading germs. Sharing the same makeup brushes and applicators can easily accumulate and transfer bacteria from one person to another. It is the same with moist and deep containers, which allow germs to thrive beneath. Especially lip and eye products, as they come in contact with the easily infective part of your face.

3. No Adding Water Directly To The Product Container To Dilute Or Intensify Makeup:

People usually add water directly to their old eyeliners, eyeshadows or lip glosses to make them increase the intensity of the color or dilute the consistency. Adding water will reformulate the products leading to high chances of bacteria and deterioration of the products before their expiry dates!

Parting and break ups are always hard. But if you say good-bye at the right time, it is the best thing you can do to yourself. Wondering what is it we are talking about? Well, it is something as simple as makeup. While it is difficult to let go of your beloved cosmetics, here are 9 signs that tell you must replace them right away.

1. Changed Color Or Separation:

When a makeup product changes color, or separates, it is time to throw it away. Never ever use your cosmetics if they have changed color, as that is a sign the makeup has started breaking down. Separated makeup also denotes a change in the chemical composition of the makeup.

2. 6 Months:

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It is always amazing to keep with the trends of the season and wear your makeup depending on what is absolutely in vogue. That being quite a timer, it is quite right to change your makeup once every six months.

3. Eye Infections:

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If you have caught the painful, horrid conjunctivitis, you really need to think about this – when you use makeup on the eyes while you are suffering from the infection, the bacteria could get transferred onto the makeup and could build up and cause problems at a later stage. It is best to throw out all those eye pencils to prevent yourselves from distress later on.

4. Expiry Date:

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Once a makeup product is bought and kept, we quite easily forget about it. It goes on and on and on. But it is very important to clean up once in a while, and check for the expiry date, just to make sure the makeup product is still safe for use. It could be pretty harmful to use old makeup.

5. When Did You Buy It:

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And then, in some cases, the makeup doesn’t have an expiry date. And in that case, think back and remember when you bought it. If you don’t, it is time to throw it right out of the window. And honestly, there won’t be too much of love lost, because if you don’t have memories of it, you don’t care for it too much.

6. Layering Of Colors:

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If your makeup begins to band and resembles the Grand Canyon, it is time to let go of it. Never mark your life events with the layering of your makeup. You can definitely do better than that.

7. Your Skin Starts To Feel Weird:

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If and when your makeup starts to feel weird on your skin, it is time to say good-bye. Your makeup had begun to age and dry up. It is best to stop using it, or else it could lead to skin ailments. It will also never let you look your best.

8. Makeup Begins To Smell:

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Odd smelling makeup is a sign that there are bacteria growing in it. It could also signify expiry or change in composition. It is best to avoid usage at this time. When you get strong, pungent, or sweet smells, or even chemical-based smells, it is time for a change.

9. Free Will:

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Sometimes, you might just feel like going out and pampering yourself a little. It is always fun to shop, and what is more fun is shopping for spunky, colorful makeup products to match the wardrobe of the current season.

Never stop being the girly girl you are. It is alright to splurge on some color fun once in a while, and “makeup-gone-bad” can be a good enough reason for it!

So, when is the right time to throw away your makeup? No, don’t say never! Here’s a simple guideline for all the different makeup products and accessories and when to say goodbye!

Shelf Life Of Your Makeup:

1. Mascara: 3 To 4 Months

This is one of the makeup products that can go bad faster than any other makeup. Mascaras are applied around your delicate eyes and are more likely to spread bacteria and infections. So, it best to toss your mascara within three to four months from the date of purchase.

The best tip to remember in extending the life span of the mascaras is to avoid pumping the mascara wand in and out of the tube, as pumping will allow air into the tube which can mix with the chemicals thereby results in bacterial accumulation.

2. Concealer: 12 To 18 Months

Concealers hold up well before reaching the expiration date. The cream or liquid forms of concealer can be used for good 12 to 18 months from the date of purchase. The best tip in safely storing your concealers is to always tightly close the product container after use and use only sanitized brush or fingers to take the product out for application.

3. Blush: Powder Blush 24 Months And Cream Blush 12 To 18 Months

Powder blushes last a little longer than creamier formulas as the water content is less in the formula. Blushes are another cosmetic product which can usually expire before it reaches the expiration date if handled un-hygienically. If you use your fingers for application, there are high chances of bacterial accumulation, especially cream blushes.

4. Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Face Powder: About 24 Months

All of these makeup products hold up for 24 months. Always remember to close the lids tightly so that there is no air accumulation. Keep them away from extreme hot temperatures and you can get about good two years from them.

5. Lip Liner And Eye Liner: 24 Months

Lip and eye pencils last for a good amount of time. If they are the pencil kind and need sharpening, then there are less chances of bacterial accumulation. Retractable eye and lip pencils can last for good 24 months.

6. Eye Shadow: Powder Eyeshadow 24 Months And Cream Eyeshadow 12 To 18 Months

Powder eyeshadows, like powder blush formulas, last a little more than creamier formulas as the water content is less in them. Eyeshadows in cream formula can expire faster if handled without hygiene. So, if you use your fingers for application, there are high chances of bacterial accumulation. The powder eyeshadows will last good for 24 months and cream for 12 to 18 months.

7. Foundation: 12 To 18 Months

Liquid, cream and stick type foundations last for good 12 to 18 months from the date of usage. If the foundation is oil-free, you should toss the foundation after 12 months itself. Whereas, the oil-based foundation last slightly longer than non-oily ones, it stays good for about 18 months. If the formula is made with mineral ingredients, they last up to the expiry date mentioned on the packaging as it contains all good ingredients, which do not get spoiled easily. But, you would have to remember that though they don’t get spoiled easily, using unclean brushes or fingers can transfer bacteria. It is best to throw away your mineral foundation within a year to 18 months.

Follow all these guidelines to stay beautiful and safe. Always remember to throw the products away even before these life span periods if you notice too much drying, color change, fungus or odor. It is best to write the first usage date on the product to keep in check with the expiration date easily.

Hope these guidelines will help you stay safe. Make it a habit to check your products before putting it on your face.
Was this article helpful? When do you throw your makeup? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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Shirin Mehdi
Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer
Shirin is a health and wellness writer with three years of experience and specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Prior to joining Stylecraze, she interned with an advertising firm as a copywriter and as an editorial intern for a luxury fashion magazine.

Read full bio of Shirin Mehdi
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