Beauty Alert | Knowing When Its Time To Throw Away Your Expired Makeup

We’ve seen makeup expiration charts a million times and although we are fully aware that makeup has an expiration date most continue to use it well past that date.



Mainly because it kills us to throw away that expensive brand mascara, eye liner, blush, powder or eye shadow just to name a few. But holding on to expired makeup products can cost us more than the original cost of purchasing it. And because the FDA doesn’t really require cosmetics companies to print expiration dates on makeup  leaves us to get a little more acquainted with these dates and more proactive in coming up with ways to ensure we toss these products on time.



Makeup Labels

However, some packages have a symbol of a jar with an open lid, number, and letter. The open lid means the expiration date applies once the product is opened or the seal is removed. The letter is usually an “M” for month or “Y” for year. So if you see “12 M” on the symbol that means the product will last up to 12 months after it has been opened. The only problem with relying on this symbol is that you actually have to remember to mark it with the date you opened it.



Not tossing expired makeup products poses a health issue. It can lead to serious skin breakouts, contamination, and infections. Water based products such as mascara can cause bacterial contamination which can lead to infection such as styes or even staph. While using expired foundations can cause some serious breakouts of the skin.





Below is a guideline of when you should toss particular makeup products


Lipgloss & Lipstick :

  • Toss after 2 years
  • They will eventually start to feel and look cakey





  • Toss after 3 months
  • It will get dry and clump , be sure not to pump your mascara wand to prevent trapping air and bacteria



Liquid and Powder Foundation


  • Toss after 1 to 2 years
  • It won’t be able to provide the same coverage. Rule of thumb, powders last up to two years but liquid and cream foundations will only last up to 12 months.


Blush or Eyeshadows:

  • Toss it after 1 to 2 years
  • It will eventually get hard and not deposit color as well. Rule of thumb, Powders last up to two years while cream only last one year.


 Nail Polish:

  • Toss it after one year.
  • It will start to dry out and become thick and gooey. (Tip: some have been able to revive nail polish by adding just a tad bit of nail thinner to it)



  • Toss after 3 months to three years.
  • Liquid liner/gel liner is more susceptible to microbial growth so it has to be replaced every three months.
  • Pencils can last up to three years as they are constantly sharpened. Toss if they eventually become stiff and crumbly.

Always trash products if it has a funny smell, has changed color or if the consistency is off.


Have a beautiful day.



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