When Does Your Makeup Really Expire??

When Does Your Makeup Really Expire??

Hi everyone!!

In this post I’m laying out the expiration dates on all types of beauty products. Sometimes we all forget to toss out old stuff or we are too lazy to go out and buy a new one (guilty) so we hang on to products a little longer than we should.  But we are talking about things we put on our FACE, sometimes daily, so we should be a smidge concerned about it.

The gross thing about this is that makeup holds a lot of germs and bacteria that can just sit in there for months and months and will transfer onto your brushesandthenyourfaceinaVICIOUS GERM CYCLE. Dramatic-but true.

Another thing to consider is that some ingredients inside makeup products can break down to actually make new harmful compounds like formaldehyde. (This can happen particularly with mascara, even if formaldehyde is not listed as an ingredient it can form on its own over time).

As a general rule of thumb, I throw out anything that smells funky or takes on a different color. But there are also some “rules” to follow for each type of beauty product.

Scary and gross stuff. So let’s get all the facts and start cleaning things out 🙂

Mascara and Eye Liners

I replace these every three months exactly.  I am particularly on top of replacing mascara due it’s ability to break down and form different chemicals, and it’s susceptibility to gather bacteria from contact with eyelashes.

Mascaras and eye liners are more disposed to bacteria than other products for a couple reasons: 1. because there’s just a lot of germy/bacterial stuff happening around the eyes and 2. because they are often applied directly from the product to the skin, without the use of a brush (or rather, a brush that is separate from the product).

I never share these products with friends and I toss them out regularly.

Liquid Beauty Products

Other liquid products such as liquid foundation, liquid lipsticks, tinted moisturizers, and so forth should be replaced every six months.  Liquid products just gather more bacteria and have a shorter shelf life than powders unfortunately.

Powder Products

Powder products such as powder foundations and eye shadows can last a very long time without creating an issue.  I usually go through them before having to throw them out, but I will keep mine for a couple years even. 


For regular lipstick (not liquid lipstick) I generally only get rid of them once they start to smell a little funny.  For me, the smell is unmistakable, so I can figure it out right away if it needs to be replaced. But I find that this happens generally around the 1  year mark, maybe sooner.

Remember: Lipstick is the only beauty product that is sometimes consumed in small amounts (from eating and whatnot) so it is especially important to be aware of it’s state.

And don’t forget….

Lastly, we all know the importance of regularly washing our makeup brushes, so I won’t bore you with that information. But I do wash them about every two weeks to keep ’em squeaky clean.

So… happy Friday (tomorrow) and tell me your thoughts below!



  1. June 2, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Great post, very useful. I will look into that actually, thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Stefanie
    June 2, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    Really useful!And what do you think about lipsticks? I have a giant collection and just don’T wanna throw any of them away :/

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you! For regular lipsticks (not liquid) I only throw them out once they start to smell.. And you would know if they don’t smell quite right. It usually happens around a year. It sucks.. but you’re basically consuming some lipstick every time you wear it too. So it’s good to be careful about it.

      • Stefanie
        June 2, 2016 / 9:17 pm

        Thank you ! Will definitely keep that in mind…I haven’t had any lipstick that smelled suspicious. Probably because I live in a country with cool /dry climate 🙂

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      you’re welcome, I’m happy to help 🙂 And yes, good point about your climate! Maybe that’s helping you 😉

  3. December 2, 2016 / 10:27 am

    This actually got me thinking. I remember asking my friend when shaving sticks expire and she laughed it off. I really think they expire, just like makeup.

    • December 2, 2016 / 11:00 am

      If you’re talking about razors, those have a super short “life”. They get rusty and acquire lots of bacteria.. I toss them max every 2 weeks! 🙂

  4. December 28, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Useful post…It’s probably a good thing to limit how much makeup I buy then! 😂

    • December 28, 2016 / 4:47 pm

      yes! once I figured this out I was like I need to not buy every lipstick color under the sun in the same week… haha

      • December 28, 2016 / 4:50 pm

        How about if you use a lip brush rather than directly swiping on from the lip bullet?

      • December 28, 2016 / 4:52 pm

        Well it’s not so much the bacteria from your skin that makes makeup go “bad” as much as the ingredients that the make up is made from that expire over time.

      • December 28, 2016 / 4:56 pm

        ahhh that makes sense! I am just awful when it comes to remembering when I started using a certain product! >< definitely need to keep note of it.

      • December 28, 2016 / 5:30 pm

        Yeah sometimes it’s tough to keep track of. But it’s worth it!

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