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Product development lead | NASA National Aeronautics & Space Agency

Makeup Expiration Dates

Sep. 12th, 2011 | Comments 5 | Make a Comment   
Buy it, tag it, use it - toss it!

How old is your makeup? Do you hang onto discontinued colors even though they are far past their prime? Makeup applies better and stays on longer when it is still good, not to mention that keeping it clean and current reduces the chance of infection.

  • Foundation and Concealing Liquids: Two years. Exposure to oxygen breaks down the compounds, so toss it sooner if discolorization occurs or if it begins to separate.

  • Eye Shadow, Face Powders and Powder Blush: Two years. Get rid of it when powders begin to crumble or become overly shiny.

  • Cream Blush: Two years. If product becomes overly oily or discolored, you can probably blame bacteria (if you apply with your hand).

  • Mascara: Three months. Every time you apply mascara, you are transferring bacteria from your eye to the wand, back to the eye. Mascara should be the makeup you replace most often. If your mascara becomes dry, clumpy, or sticky, head to the makeup counter.

  • Liners: Three years. Sharpening pencils often reduces transfer of bacteria between the liner and your face. If it becomes very dry or oily, it’s time to replace it!

  • Lip Gloss: Two years. Because the wand transfers bacteria into the tube, it is a good idea to apply gloss with a brush. Don’t “pump” the wand into the bottle - this creates air bubbles, cutting life expectancy in half.

  • Lip Stick: Three years. Apply directly or with a brush, clean surface with a soft tissue often to remove bacteria.

  • Perfume: Two years. You can usually tell a perfume has turned when the scent has changed. Do you keep a beautiful bottle display? Exposure from light and oxygen will cause perfume to deteriorate faster, so keep your favorites in a cabinet or out of direct light.

NEED A DATE OF PURCHASE REMINDER? Mark makeup container with the purchase date so you know when to toss it out.

This post originally appeared at WorldWideSkin.com.

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5 Comments on this Article

CoLoR349 commented on February 25, 2012

Absolutely loved the comments regarding this article, great tips. Just last month I tossed out some makeup and lipsticks that had just been sitting around. It had to be done, but I hated throwing them out.

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Alicia D. commented on December 30, 2011

Being a make up artist I always seek out new things, but I hate it when they discontinue a fav color.

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Alberta commented on September 15, 2011

Store lipstick in the refrigerator to make it last longer. :)

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Abigail commented on September 15, 2011

If my water-based foundation dries out before it's expiration date, I add a few drops of alcohol-free toner and shake to mix it in. It's as good as new.

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Alberta commented on September 15, 2011

Use oil-based foundations- they also last longer. Because they contain oil, you just have to shake the bottle when you think it's drying out.