When Does Makeup Expire?
Well, it's complicated...(well not really, but we don't want to put all makeup products in the same category) so let's dive in.
Powders and creams and liquids are all different formulas and are being used on different parts of the face, so there are guidelines you should follow. In this video I go over my pro makeup artist guidelines for throwing out old makeup products.
Does makeup expire?
YES! Makeup expires and needs to be replaced over time, and the expiration guidelines for makeup may surprise you.
Think of it this way, if you are using a brush to apply makeup to your face, especially to your mucous membranes, every time you dip your brush into the product you’re introducing bacteria.
Bacteria that can grow and multiply - especially in “wet” products like mascara and creams. Also, foundation and other creams contain a combination of ingredients that will separate over time, and even change color!
Why does makeup expire?
There are a few different reasons why makeup expires.
Everything consumable has a shelf life, from your food to your moisturizer to your household cleaner and your medications, and especially your makeup.
You want your makeup to be at its freshest when you’re using it so that there is no color degradation, no formula separation, and most importantly, no bacteria growth!
When does eyeshadow expire?
6-12 months, max. I know, I just heard you scream!
Think of how you apply your eyeshadow. You dip a brush into the palette, apply the shadow to your eye - a mucous membrane - and then dip your brush back on to the same shadow for the next eye. Anytime something can get wet it can build up bacteria. And if you're prone to eye infections, think about a different process for using your shadow.
One pro technique we use to make your eyeshadows last longer would be to scrape the shadow gently from the container to a clean surface, such as a new paper towel, then only use the brush on the scraped out makeup. This is the most sanitary way to avoid introducing bacteria into the makeup.
Other powders, like blush and loose powder, are the items that you can hold onto the longest, about two years if you’re keeping your brushes clean, but even those have a limited shelf life.
When you apply blush, you place a clean brush into the blush, apply the product to your face - picking up bacteria and skin cells along the way - and then place it right back into that same blush to do the other cheek. It’s fine to do this, of course, but just be aware that you have to replace it to keep everything on the up and up.
When does liquid foundation expire?
Liquid foundation expires after about a year - 18 months due to the formulation and due to the way you’re getting the actual product out of the bottle.
Depending on whether or not you use your fingers, it can last up to a year if you’re careful about keeping your fingers out and resist adding bacteria into that environment.
If you are using a tube or a pump, the most sanitary way to dispense foundation, then you should be sure not to touch the tip of the container with your fingers. Even then, foundation is a sensitive product. Any oil in the formula can separate over time, and the colors can oxidize and change color. No one wants that!
The same goes for concealers and highlighters that you apply with a wand, stick foundations, and stick concealers. Best to apply these items with a clean brush, which will prolong the life of the product.
When do other types of makeup expire?
Beware of your gel eyeliners, liquid liners, and mascara! These are the most susceptible to harboring bacteria because you are applying this makeup to your eye, the mother of all the mucous membranes! You're basically double dipping, then putting the wand or brush back into a moist environment.
This is where bacteria will thrive and multiply.
Double dipping rule applies to anything for your lips! You should only use these items for a few months - then toss ‘em!
But if you're like me and you want to use up all you have, think like a pro and scrape your products to a palette and give a longer shelf life to your personal products!
When you scrape your products, lipsticks last about a year up to 18 months. After about a year passes, they have a tendency to dry out, and the color can change in these formulas over time as well.
Eye pencils and lip pencils will last the longest because you are constantly sharpening and renewing them. These are good for about two years.
Any more tips?
Always check the little icon on the back of your bottle.
You’ll see a number with a circle around it. That is the shelf life after the product has been opened. Keep your makeup out of a hot, steamy bathroom and store it in a cool, dry place. In fact, if stored properly your unopened makeup won’t expire for about two or three years!
Remember, the best way to keep your makeup as clean as possible is to keep your makeup brushes clean. Brushes should be cleaned once a week, more often if you have frequent breakouts, any eye irritation, a common cold, or anything else that may cause your brushes to become contaminated. On the plus side, clean brushes can help prevent acne— so clean those brushes, honey!