Has Your Makeup Expired? Is it Dirty and Causing Acne?
Clearing out your makeup collection regularly is important. Getting rid of old, unused or broken makeup is not only a therapeutic experience, but it is also necessary for your skin health. Expired makeup products are not only less effective, but they have the potential to cause irritation and infection from harboured bacteria.
It’s the time of year where we clean out our makeup stash - whether it be that you’re embarrassed by the state of your makeup bag, desperately running out of room or struggling to find the products you need, it’s a task that shouldn’t be skipped.
When does makeup expire?
Any change in colour, smell or texture indicates it’s time to get rid of your makeup products. The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t keep cosmetics for longer than a year, but this time frame shortens with eye products (which should be thrown away after 6 months) as they attract more bacteria and can cause irritation or infection. Powder products can last up to two years if they are well taken care of, and clean brushes have been used. Below is a guideline of how long your makeup products last:
Foundation and Concealer: liquid foundations and concealers last for 12 months. Smell, colour and texture changes are clear indicators that it's time to replace your foundation or concealer.
Powders (foundation, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow): powder products typically have a longer shelf life and can last between 1-2 years. Cleaning brushes that you use to apply your powder products regularly can help to extend the life of the products. Any change in texture or colour indicates that a powder product needs replacing.
Mascara and Liquid Eyeliners: to prevent bacterial contamination to the eye, mascaras and liquid eyeliners have the shortest shelf life, lasting between 3-6 months before they must be replaced. Mascaras tend to dry out, and become clumpy when they have expired.
Lipsticks and Lip Gloss: lip products typically are safe to use for 1 year but keep an eye out for any changes in colour, smell or consistency that indicates it's time to throw it out and replace it.
Lip and Eye Pencils: pencils have a long shelf life, as long as they are kept clean and sharpened regularly. Once they become dry and do not apply properly, it is time to throw them out.
Tips to extend the life of your makeup products:
To maximise the life of your makeup products, ensure you are keeping your makeup brushes clean by washing them regularly and using an alcohol based brush cleaner in-between uses. Dirty makeup brushes can introduce unwanted bacteria to your makeup products that can cause acne. Using this antibacterial brush cleaner after every brush use can prevent irritation and acne caused from using dirty brushes.
Storing your makeup products in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight and hot, humid temperatures prevents unwanted changes in the colour, smell or texture of your products.
Don’t forget that keeping your makeup bag or storage area clean to avoid dirt and build-up can help extend the life of your makeup products and prevent acne caused by bacteria. To make it super easy, your this makeup bag is machine washable – throw it in the wash once a month!
How to check how long your product is good for after opening?
Manufacturers are required to inform you of specific expiry dates or their recommendations on how long their product should be used once opened. You will find a symbol on the tube or box of makeup products that indicates the time a product should be used for once you have used it for the first time. This symbol is called the 'period after opening' symbol that depicts an open cosmetics jar with the number of months or years that the manufacturer recommends the products be used before replacing. For example, 12M in the open jar indicates that product should only be used for 12 months once opened. Checking the back of your products packaging is the best way to know how long your product is good for. This time period varies from product to product, and brand to brand depending on the ingredients used in the product.
It is important to note that this period begins not when you buy the product, or from the date it was manufactured, but from once you open it and start using the product as unopened products are not a ground for bacterial growth. However, most cosmetic products should be thrown away after 3 years of manufacture so if you've had it sitting around unopened for a long period of time, you might need to consider getting rid of it. Powders and pencils are more forgiving in this instance and could be used if the colour, texture and smell are normal, but you might find that liquid products will have changed texture, possibly separated and the colour changed after this period of time. If you are in doubt about how long it has been since you purchased the product, or it has been manufactured, it's best to reach out to the brand with the products batch number for more information.