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How Long Can You Keep Your Makeup?

When you buy groceries, most foods have expirations dates on them. That makes it pretty easy to tell when it’s time to throw it out. But what about makeup? Most makeup containers don’t have expirations dates, making it pretty difficult to know when it’s no good.

Well I did some research on makeup shelf life and here is what I found. I discovered I’ve kept some of my makeup way too long. Keep in mind, these are the maximum shelf lives. Some of these might shock you!

Powders (blush, eye shadow, foundation): 2 years

These last more than most makeup because they don’t have a high risk of trapping germs like liquids and gels do.

Liquid foundation and concealor: 18 months to a year

Water-based liquids last up to a year. The oil-based foundations and concealors can be used  a little longer. Keeping concealor longer than that can actually cause more blemishes.

Mascara and liquid eyeliner: 3 months

These two expire much earlier than any other type of makeup because there is a big risk of transmitting bacteria back and forth from your eye to the tube. You should never keep it longer than three months; however, if it starts to get dry earlier, throw it out! Don’t try to rewet it with water; that increases the risk of bacteria transmissions.



Eye pencils: 18 months to 2 years
If you sharpen the pencil before each use, you can use it closer to two years. If not, stick to around 18 months. Sharpening the pencil each time you use it ensures a clean, fresh tip that wont transfer bacteria.

Lip gloss: a year to 18 months

Lipstick: 2 years

Some people argue that you can use lipstick longer than this. The big thing to know is that if it starts to smell, it’s time to throw it out!

I know it may be hard to keep track of how long you’ve had your makeup after awhile. So here’s a tip: When you buy a new container of makeup, write the date you bought it. Or you could figure out about when it will expire and write that date instead. That way there’s no wondering!

However, if you don’t want to write out the dates, keep this in mind: If your makeup shows any of the following signs, throw it out!

  • It smells.
  • The consistency has changed (it has dried out).
  • The color has changed.
  • There is mold.
  • You’ve had an eye infection. If this happens, throw out any makeup you used since the symptoms started.
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