The Expiration Date Of Cosmetics, And Why It’s Important To Stick To It

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

Nothing lasts forever, and this is especially true for the lipsticks you have owned for the last 3 years and carried everywhere with you in your purse. We know quality makeup is expensive, and having to throw them away without using them fully can make your heart ache. But using makeup products that have long passed their expiry date can do more harm than good to your skin. Here, in this article, is everything you need to know about makeup, its expiry date, and why you should not use them a day after they expire. Read on!

What Is It Crucial To Use Makeup Within Its Expiry Date?


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Using expired cosmetics can cause skin irritations, including rashes, pimples, and burning sensations. It can even make your eyes swell, itch, and get red if you wear mascara or eyeliner that’s over its expiration date. If you have any such reaction after using makeup, you should consult a dermatologist right away. The problem lies in the fact that cosmetics have a shorter shelf life than food, and they come with the expiration date being determined by the first day of usage rather than the day of purchase. And we tend to ignore this particular date. Every makeup has a little sign on it that looks like a jar with a numeral or letter inside of it, like 12M. This typically indicates that the product has a shelf life of 12 months after opening. When it comes to applying makeup, you must stick to the indicated time range. Using an outdated, oxidized makeup base is the worst possible thing you can do to your skin.

1. Foundation Or Concealers

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To determine its expiration date, consider its ingredients:

  • Water base makeup: Up to 1 year
  • Oil base makeup: Up to 18 months

Shake the tube frequently and store it in a cold, dark area.

How To Know The Foundation Has Gone Bad?

Concealers that have stratified should not be used regardless of their expiration date.

2. Powder, Concealer, Or Bronzer

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Powdered substances have a shelf life of 18 months. These cosmetics make it harder for germs to grow since they do not include water. However, if you touch the face with a brush that has a foundation on it, the liquid will transfer to your bronzer or blush. After each use, replace the lid securely for optimal storage. If you want your bronzer or face powder to last as long as possible, you should avoid using greasy concealer beforehand. Always remember to disinfect your makeup brush before using it again.

How To Know The Powder Has Gone Bad?

A hard edge around the powder indicates that the minerals have combined with sebum.

3. Mascara

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To prevent bacteria growth, mascara should be discarded as soon as it reaches the expiry date. The duration of its usable life is:

  • With frequent use: 3 Months
  • Occasional use: 6 Months

Keep the mascara tube closed as much as possible so it doesn’t dry out.

How To Know The Mascara Has Gone Bad?

If the mascara’s fragrance has changed significantly and the crackling sound has stopped when you remove the brush from the tube, it’s time to toss it out.

4. Eyeliner

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Eyeliner can be used for three months minimum and three years maximum. A bottle of liquid eyeliner may last anywhere from three months to a year, depending on how frequently you use it. 36 months is the lifespan for an eye pencil. The most efficient method of storage is, after applying liquid eyeliner, to wipe the nib clean. It’s important to keep the pencil sharpener clean if you use eye pencils.

How To Know The Eyeliner Has Gone Bad?

If you notice a difference in the scent of your liquid eyeliner, you should replace it just as you would your mascara. The appearance of an irremovable white film on eye pencils indicates you should toss it away at once.

5. Lipstick And Lip Gloss

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Lipstick and gloss are good to use for another year or more since their composition does not promote bacterial development. For optimal freshness, refrigerate them and wait at least an hour before using them.

How To Know The Lipstick Has Gone Bad?

If there are visible drops of wetness on the lipstick’s surface, it smells bad, or it looks and feels chalky, it is time to get a new one.

6. Makeup Brush

Makeup Brush
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Makeup brushes are particularly susceptible to harboring bacteria, so it’s important to take special care while cleaning them. It’s the equivalent of rubbing a dirty sponge or sponge against your skin, which can lead to breakouts, infections, and discomfort. The easiest method to keep brushes is to clean them regularly and put them in a box where they won’t come into contact with air.

How To Know The Makeup Brush Has Gone Bad?

If the brushes are old and the bristles have begun to come out, they are likely far past their prime.

Always clean your hands before and after touching up your makeup. Put the purchase date on a piece of tape and affix it to your bottle to remind yourself when to throw it away. Maintaining a clean makeup bag is a must. Also, you need to keep your makeup in an air-conditioned, dry location. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight and always replace the lid securely after use. So what is your secret to using your makeup effectively? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Adverse Cutaneous Reactions to Skin Care Products on the Face Vary with Age, but not with Gender, NCBI
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