Has your makeup passed its use by date?

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013


Makeup use by dates

Don’t start the New Year by putting old, expired makeup on your face!

Even though makeup products aren’t required to have expiry dates printed on the packaging, they aren’t formulated to last forever either. The preservatives in them will keep them effective for a certain period, and longer than most items in your fridge, but after that they should be discarded.

So while you’re still in holiday-mode, why not take the time to sort through your makeup bag (and drawers and cabinets), bin the old products, and start the New Year afresh!  If you don’t know how to identify what’s old and what’s not, these are some averages on how long you should keep your makeup products once you’ve brought them home:

  • Mascara - 3 months
  • Liquid Foundation/Tinted Moisturiser - 12 months
  • Cream Products (Eye shadows, blushes) – 12-18 months
  • Lipsticks and Lip Pencils - 2 years
  • Powder products (face powders, eye shadows, blushes) – 2 years

If you can’t remember exactly when you bought a product, chances are it’s been more than two years and the product should be binned anyway! But there are other physical clues too: like the makeup not going on as smoothly as it used to; the product drying out or crumbling in the palette. Don’t wait for the formula to separate or the makeup to start smelling bad. If bacteria have managed to creep in, there is the chance you could develop a skin irritation or rash.

Once you get your makeup home make sure you:

  • Store it out of direct sunlight, in a cool and dark location like a cupboard or drawer, and not a window sill or in the car.
  • Keep an eye on your mascaras and liquid foundations. Bacteria breeds easily in a moist, wet environment, so these products will be the first that need to go.

If you’re thinking about a makeup lesson for yourself, have a look at this post. Or click on for more information on my makeup lessons and makeup gift cards.