Most people have no idea when their makeup was purchased. So when should it be thrown away? There are different expiry periods for different makeup. Why should makeup be thrown away?
Unfortunately, it may also be a breeding ground for all sorts of creepy eye infections, like pinkeye and sties. Overall, makeup that contains water (liquid foundation, liquid eyeliner) is at a higher risk for going bad than powder makeup, because water provides bacteria with a friendly little home in which to thrive. Warm environments increase the risk for bacteria growth, too, so keep your makeup in a cool, dry place if possible.
There is no regulation for makeup expiration dates, so you’re on your own. Here are five reasons to suspect that your makeup has gone bad:
1. You’ve recently had an eye infection or been sick
We are not saying you should replace all your makeup at the first sign of the common cold, but if there’s a chance your makeup got all germy (example: your lipstick touched your cold sore), toss it.
2. It smells different
Aging lipstick can smell like stale oil. You know what your products should smell like — the second they start smelling different, throw them out.
3. The color has changed
If your foundation suddenly looks off on your skin, either you just got a tan or the product is going haywire on you. If there’s any inconsistency in color, get rid of it.
4. The texture has changed
Lip gloss that’s now gooey and clumpy? Foundation that’s separated? Goodbye.
5. It feels different on your skin
If that cream blush just doesn’t feel like whipped mousse on your cheeks anymore, it’s probably time to get a new one.
But don’t wait till your makeup has visibly curdled to switch it out. Here’s a handy makeup-tossing timeline for your perusal! Please note that these dates fall on the conservative end of the spectrum, so if the budget is tight, you can probably get away with holding on to that eyeshadow for an extra month or so.
After 2 months: Throw out your mascara. Healthy eyes are prettier than thick eyelashes.
After 3 months: Exchange your liquid or gel eyeliners for new ones. Like mascara, the brush is constantly carrying bacteria from the eye back to the warm, wet bottle. Yuck!
After 6 months: People seem to disagree on when you should toss eyeshadow. Since it’s a powder, it should last forever (or at least for a year or two), but since it goes on right by your eye, it’s at higher risk of contamination. Same with cream eyeshadow: pass it forward more frequently than other cream products.
After 6-12 months: By now, you should have used up any liquid foundation, cream blush, facial serums, or face creams, but if not, it’s time to replace them anyway. Anything that you apply with your fingers is at higher risk for contamination than products that come in pump bottles, since your fingers can carry bacteria into the jar. You can keep pencil eyeliners for this long if you’re sharpening them regularly.
After 1-2 years: These are the lucky ones that never seem to go bad: powder foundation, powder blush, lipstick, lip gloss, nail polish. Just keep an eye on them for any change in color, scent, or consistency.
Always remember – when it comes to makeup, sharing is definitely not caring, so don’t even think of “handing down” your favorite shades to your little sister. You won’t live it down if a bout of pink eye can be blamed on you.