Do you know the shelf life of your makeup products? 

by The First Refresh

When should you throw away your makeup? Do you know the shelf life of the makeup sitting in your cupboard right now? What are key signs to tell if your makeup has gone bad?

The perils of using expired makeup include skin irritation, bacterial growth and clogged pores and is something we should all take more seriously so that the hard work gone into maintaining our skin through elaborate skincare routines and TLC facials don’t go to waste. 

From what we’ve seen, when it comes to expiry dates, there are three types of beauty buyers out there. 

Which one do you think you are?

  1. The rule follower: You view the expiration date as an explicit warning. If that is your pejorative, you are likely to throw away your makeup if it expires, no matter what condition it may be in. 
  2. The Guesstimator: A fan of ‘agaration’, You ignore expiration dates, and base the products’ shelf life on your own instinctive judgement.
  3. The Wait-And-See: You view the expiration date as a mere suggestion. In this case, you are probably going to be wary when your makeup has hit the date of expiry. Perhaps, you would use it for a while longer and monitor to see if the product shows signs of being expired or is not at its peak performance level. 

Here are 3 tips to gauge whether you should throw your product out: 

Pro tip #1: If it’s been more than three years, throw it out.

The expiration dates that your makeup products are labeled with serve as guidelines to tell if your makeup is safe to use and performing at its optimal level. 

It’s hard to say how long an unopened product could last as this would be dependent on other factors like environment and your skin type’s sensitivity. As a rule of thumb, storing them within a cool and dry unit means they could last you up to 3 years. The ingredients in your products do break down eventually, so try to avoid keeping your makeup for more than that. 

Pro Tip #2: Cream-based, liquid products tend to spoil quicker.

Different makeup products are made up of different formulas and functions. This can determine its lifespan. Ones with a creamier base such as your butters, moisturizer, oils, and creamy foundation have a higher risk of breaking down faster, due to how easily oil turns bad. Cream-based products that require a sponge applicant typically require dipping your fingers or sponges into the container, further increasing room for contamination.

Pro Tip #3: If something smells or looks funky, discard it.

If all else fails, here’s one thing to keep in mind when assessing if you should toss your product: watch for colour or texture changes, as well as smell changes in your product. For example, your liquid concealer can oxidise and take on a yellow-orange tint. When it comes to texture, you might notice your powered foundation becoming crumbly, or eyeshadow palette looking dry and crackly.