When to Throw Out Your Make Up

Just like food, make up products have an expiry date. Unfortunately  it is easy for make up to build up bacteria and go bad. Because of this it is important to throw away your make up as soon as you think it has gone bad. Because make up and beauty companies don’t usually print the expiry date on their products, it is hard to tell whether or not your make up has gone bad or not. But here is a guide of when to throw out your make up.

Photo by pandpstock001

When to Throw Out Your Make Up: Expiry Dates of Make Up

Photo by keakguru.

Photo by keakguru.

Powders (including blushes, bronzers, and shadows) 2 years

Any sort of make up powder such as blushes, bronzers, face powders and eye shadows tend to last longer than other make up because they are not moist, so it is harder for bacteria to grow. You can generally keep powders for up to two years.

Pencil eyeliner 2 years

Pencil eyeliner tends to last long because you can sharpen them, just make sure you keep the sharpener clean and sanitized. As long as you sharpen your eyeliner, it should last up to 2 years.

Lipstick, lip gloss and lip liner  12-24 months

Lip products can be a breeding ground for bacteria. They can also dry out fast, making them no longer usable, especially matte or long lasting lipsticks. For regular lipsticks keep for 1 year and lip glosses 18 to 12 months. Lip pencils can last a year as long as you keep them fresh by sharpening them.

Cream shadows, compact foundation and blushes 12-18 months

Because they are kept in a moist condition and prone to having fingers and sponges dipping into them they don’t last as long as your powder counterparts. Look out for any color changes or change in fragrance to as this is a sign to throw them out. Get rid of Cream compact foundation and at 18 months and cream shadows at after 12 months.

Photo by Stuart Miles.

Photo by Stuart Miles.

Concealers 12-18 months

Concealers formulas can easily separate over time. To avoid a build up in bacteria always use a clean brush when apply onto the skin. Concealers can generally last 12 to 18 months before throwing away.

Foundation 6-12 moths

Overtime liquid foundation can accumulate in bacteria especially if you do thing like repeatedly dipping your fingers into the bottle. Bacteria can cause many skin nasties such as breakouts and irritation. Also over a period of time oil from the foundation can separate and the color change, leaving you with an uneven complexion. So make sure you through away oil-free foundation after a year and normal liquid foundation after 6 months.

Mascara 3 months

Because mascaras are applied so closely to your eye you need to be mindful of how long you use them. Throw out mascaras after 3 months. If you don’t throw out your mascara you can get eye infections and develop a sty. Also do not “pump” your mascara wand in and out of the tube as you are trapping in air and making the mascara dry out quicker.

Liquid or gel eyeliner 3 months

Just like mascaras because liquid and gel eyeliner are applies so close to the eye they do not last as long and need to be thrown out after 3 months.


Nail Polish

There is generally no exact time for nail polish to expire. Look out for color change, especially yellowing and when the formula starts to separate.

Sponges & Make Up Brushes

Sponges should be cleaned every week.  Wash make up brushes at least once a month.


Also store your make up some where cool and dry, this will make them last longer and avoid going bad. If you want to keep make up longer than the expiry date, a great tip is to keep it in the fridge. If you have so much make up and can’r keep up with when you bought them, use a permanent marker and write the date you bought it in the packaging. Always watch out for any sort of color change and if your make up is smelling funky, because there is a good chance that it has gone off.

Article Name
When to Throw Out Your Make Up
A generally guide to how long you can keep make up before they expire and when you can throw them out.