Cosmetic Expiry Chart and How to Extend Makeup Shelf Life

Updated on November 7, 2019
P FOR PEONY profile image

Having worked in the beauty industry, Peony's interest in skincare peaked. She loves discussing about K-beauty and science-based skincare.

Can you tell which of these have passed their shelf-life?
Can you tell which of these have passed their shelf-life? | Source

Since our cosmetics and skincare products are applied directly onto skin, it's important to make sure that they are fresh and devoid of nasties and bacteria that could cause infections, skin inflammation or acne breakouts.

Many of us check to know when the things in our pantry will expire because we don't want to suffer from a tummy ache or food poisoning. But most of us tend to overlook the significance of knowing when our makeup expires! So while we check for the expiration of the food in our cabinets, less of us actually take note of the manufacturing or expiry dates on our cosmetic and skincare products (maybe only when we first purchase the item). Maybe not a tummy ache, but expired cosmetics could potentially cause a lot of psychological and physical pain.

Cosmetic Expiry Chart:

PRODUCT
HOW LONG FROM MFG?
Sunscreen
½ year
Liquid foundation
1 year
Cream foundation
1 year
Compact foundation
1 - 1½ years
Concealer
1 year
Powder
2 years
Blush & bronzer
1 year
Cream blush
1 - 1½ years
Powder eyeshadow
2 years
Cream eyeshadow
1 - 1½ years
Pencil Eyeliner
1 - 2 years
Liquid eyeliner
3 - 6 months
Gel Eyeliner
1 year
Mascara
3 months
Lipstick
1 - 2 years
Lip liner
1 - 2 years
Lip gloss
1 year
This chart is a guide, if you have never sanitized your makeup, it is going to degenerate faster! * MFG - Manufacturing date

How to Know If My Makeup Has Gone Bad

Three steps to quickly identify if your makeup has gone past its use-by is to smell, look and feel.

  1. Smell. Try to make it a point to check the smell of your cosmetics or skincare once you’ve opened them. If your product is starting to give off a funky odor or smells distinctly different than how it was initially, it’s a good idea to toss it.
  2. Look. There could be changes appearance wise to your cosmetics when they have gone bad, such as a difference in color, appearing cloudy, patchy or caked. Product separation (usually seen in liquids where a layer or oil starts to form on the surface, giving the look of 2 different layers of products) can occur when you’ve not been using your cosmetic for awhile. Most of the time a good shake will mix it all up, however, products tend to take awhile to separate, which could imply that you’ve probably left it out for far too long.
  3. Feel. Chemical reactions can cause the texture of your cosmetics to change considerably. Touch and check the consistency of your makeup; if it was a thick lotion before and runny now or have chunky bits, it could be spoiled.

It’s also important to note that cosmetics can go bad even if it hasn’t gone past its expiry date, improper storage such as placing it under a sunny area can exacerbate the process.

Place new cotton pads, swabs and tools in a compartment by themselves and not with all your makeup in a makeup and skincare organizer. This ensures that they are clean and not dusted with powders or smeared with liquids.

Extend the Life of Your Cosmetics

How To Properly Store Makeup

Cosmetics and skincare products should be kept in cool, dry places and out of direct sunlight. The heat from the sun could melt cream products like lipsticks, dry up liquid products such as toners, and the UV (ultraviolet rays) can break down the chemical bonds and preservatives in your makeup, causing them to turn bad faster.

Avoid keeping them in places with high humidity (like the bathroom). Moisture is a bacteria breeding ground, added warmth from the steam of your shower creates a haven for them. If in doubt, look at the directions included in the label, certain skincare products are better suited in the fridge because of the volatile ingredients contained (vitamin c is a good example, it’s a wonderful pigmentation lighting ingredient but degenerates and oxidizes fairly quickly if not kept in a dark, opaque bottle and in the fridge).

Repacking Makeup: Depot and Decant

You could depot or decant your lotions and creams into a container that eases dispensing. For example, for moisturizing creams that come in a pot, you can transfer them into a squeeze bottle with a flip-top cap or into a pump dispenser. This removes the chance of contamination from fiddling around it with your fingers. It is mess-free, fuss-free and hygienic.

Storing serums and oil products in dark-colored glass bottles is a good house-keeping practice. This protects the contents from oxidizing, UV rays and a barrier to the continuous fluctuations in temperature.

How To Keep Makeup Hygienic

For the sake of convenience, many of us will dip our fingers into our cosmetics for direct application, especially with things like eye shadows, moisturizers, cream blushers etc.

However, the oils from our fingers could contaminate our makeup and cause bacteria to build-up!

The best way is to use clean disposable or washable applicators like: cotton pads, cotton swabs, brushes, sponges, and spatulas.

A light sharpen with every use keeps your lip liners, eyebrow and eyeliner pencils from dirt build-up on the surface.

Used brushes, time for a dip!
Used brushes, time for a dip! | Source

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

  1. Under warm running water, hold your brush with the tip facing down.
  2. Once it is soaked, add some mild detergent—baby shampoo is great—and lather it up! If you have a makeup brush washing mat, use that! It's washes the dirt, grime and makeup off your brushes effortlessly.
  3. Rinse out all the shampoo thoroughly, if the water is still dirty, shampoo again and repeat till you get a clean rinse.
  4. Gently pat your brush on a paper towel to remove excess water and hang till completely dried, again, with the tip facing down.

* Brushes should be washed every other week, depending on how often they are used.

Tips to Avoid Bacteria Contamination in Makeup

  • Avoid sharing makeup that comes in direct contact with your skin (concealers, mascaras, lipsticks etc.) with others. Honestly, avoid sharing makeup, period.
  • Maintain good hygiene when using your products. Wash your hands clean before application.
  • Use the correct applicators when applying makeup to avoid dipping the same tool in everything, eliminating cross-contamination.
  • Do not be afraid to bin your expired makeup. If you feel that it is going to be such a waste, use them for arts and crafts projects, not on your face!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Peony

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • P FOR PEONY profile imageAUTHOR

        Peony 

        7 years ago

        @ Modern Lady - That's what I'm guilty of as well, sometimes it's really hard to part with them! I guess the best thing is to buy in smaller quantities.. (Is that possible though? God bless consumerism!)

      • P FOR PEONY profile imageAUTHOR

        Peony 

        7 years ago

        @ Efficient Admin - Thanks for reading!

      • Modern Lady profile image

        Modern Lady 

        7 years ago from Chicago, IL

        Makeup expiration is overlooked way too much! It's amazing the risk we put ourselves in with old products. Your chart is a great reference. I've been trying to be better about tossing old makeup, but it's hard when you know how much you've spent on it!

      • Efficient Admin profile image

        Michelle Dee 

        7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

        Great information. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)