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Are You Wearing Old or Expired Makeup?:
When to Throw Away Your Cosmetic Products

Most women have no idea makeup has a shelf life or that old makeup can even cause a danger. Makeup packaging from Cover Girl, Sephora and the hundreds of other brands donít warn you of this fact. But, the truth is cosmetics donít last forever! Use these tips to learn how to tell when you should discard your makeup products.

Eye Makeup (Lasts 3 Months)

Eye makeup has a shorter shelf life than most other beauty products, with dermatologists recommended users throw their products away at least every three months. This includes mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow. Tubes of mascara and other eye beauty products can trap bacteria and cause a terrible eye infection. So, donít wait until the tube is dried up before tossing it. Instead, be sure to switch out old products at least four times a year. Of course, most women go through a tube of mascara in less than three months. So, this is likely not a huge issue for those who wear makeup every day.

Foundation and Concealer (Last Up to 1 Year)

Keeping your foundation or concealer for longer than one year can be terrible for your skin and can cause you to breakout, which is why beauty experts suggest you toss them out after 12 months. Although some brands wonít last this long, most water-based foundations will keep well if you shake the bottles periodically and use a brush or sponge to apply them. If the product begins to crack or get dry before the one year mark, go ahead and toss it out early.

Powder Products (Lasts about 2 years)

Powders can last longer than most other makeup products, with a shelf life of around two years. When your bronzer or blush starts to flake or darken, itís time to throw it out. Of course, bacteria can still form on pressed powders, so be sure to wipe the top layer off of these on a regular basis to prevent it from happening.

Lip Color (Good for 6 months)

The shelf life of lipstick and lip gloss is around six months. These products donít really expire, but at the six month mark there is a high chance they are harvesting bacteria and germs. Sometimes women canít recall when they purchased a tube of lipstick they donít use every day. A good rule of thumb is to smell the tube and if it smells like crayons, toss it. Those glosses that are in a squeeze tube can usually last a little longer than six months, because fewer germs enter the tube. So, if you want to stretch your dollar, choosing this type might be helpful.

Cleansers and Moisturizers (Good for up to 6 months)

In fact, when you toss out your lipsticks itís also a great time to also get rid of moisturizers and cleansers youíve not used up. The danger in keeping these longer is entwined in the fact these products contain fatty acids that can spoil in about six months and cause allergic reactions or other terrible problems. This can lead to an expensive trip to the dermatologist for medication to soothe your angry skin.

How to Store Your Makeup Properly

For smooth application and to encourage your products to last longer, itís important you store your makeup in a cool location. It doesnít matter if you put your products in a makeup case or a zipped cosmetic bag, as long as the products arenít kept in significant heat. Otherwise, the ingredients could separate and some products can even spoil, causing allergic reactions or foul smells.

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