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How Long Does Makeup Really Last? Find Out Makeup Expiry Dates and Shelf Life Tips

Curious about the lifespan of your makeup products? Discover the expiry dates for foundation, lipstick, mascara, and more. Learn expert tips to prolong makeup longevity and avoid harmful bacteria.



We all love our makeup collections, but have you ever wondered how long those products actually last? From foundation to mascara, every cosmetic item has a shelf life, and using them beyond their expiration date can lead to potential health risks. Let's delve into the world of makeup expiry dates and learn some tips to extend the longevity of your favorite products.


Understanding Makeup Expiry Dates

Just like food, makeup products have a finite lifespan. Most cosmetics come with a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol, indicating how many months the product remains usable after opening. It's typically represented by a small icon of an opened container followed by a number and the letter "M" (for months).


Factors Affecting Makeup Longevity

The way you use and store your makeup can impact its lifespan significantly. Heat, humidity, and exposure to air can all accelerate the breakdown of cosmetic formulas. Proper storage in a cool, dry place like a vanity case or drawer can help preserve your products for longer.


Foundation and Concealer (18-24 Months)

Your foundation and concealer should ideally last between 18 and 24 months, although it's essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Always apply them with clean hands or brushes, and consider decanting the product to avoid introducing bacteria.


Powder Products (12-24 Months)

Powder products like eyeshadow and blush can last between 12 and 24 months. Use clean, dry brushes for application, and ensure the lid is tightly closed after each use to prevent moisture and air exposure.


Lipstick and Gloss (18-24 Months)

Lipstick and lip gloss typically have a shelf life of 18 to 24 months. Store them in a cool, dry place, and avoid introducing bacteria by using a lip brush for application. If your lipstick develops moisture beads, smells off, or becomes chalky, it's time to replace it.


Lipliners and Eyeliners (3 Months - 3 Years)

Liquid eyeliners and mascaras should be replaced every 3 to 6 months due to their wet consistency and susceptibility to bacteria. Pencil eyeliners and lipliners have a longer shelf life of up to 3 years but should be sharpened between each use to remove any accumulated bacteria.


Mascara (3-6 Months)

Mascara is a breeding ground for bacteria due to its wet formula and frequent contact with the eyes. Replace it every 3 to 6 months, and avoid pumping the wand to prevent air exposure.


Tips for Prolonging Makeup Longevity

Clean your makeup brushes regularly to prevent bacterial buildup. Sanitize your brushes using the methods outlined in my blog on 'Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Makeup Brushes: Preserve Your Tools, Protect Your Skin' for all the cleaning methods you can use to keep your essential beauty tools in tip top condition.

Check expiry dates and discard any out-of-date or compromised products.

Avoid introducing saliva into makeup products, as it can introduce bacteria. Revive dried-up products with a few drops of baby oil or setting spray.


In conclusion, understanding the expiry dates and shelf life of your makeup products is crucial for maintaining both their efficancy and your skin's health.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your makeup collection remains safe and enjoyable to use.

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