The life expectancy of cosmetics

cosmetics clip art

Diamonds may last forever, but cosmetics don’t!  Using old makeup can cause unwanted blemishes or, even worse, an infection due to bacteria growth.  This should inspire you to get your garbage can ready.  So how do you know when something has expired if there’s no expiration date?  The following is an estimated shelf life for common beauty necessities.


Estimated Life of Cosmetics:

  • Cleaner: 6 months to 1 year
  • Toner: 1 year
  • Moisturizer: 6 months to 1 year
  • Concealer: 6 to 8 months
  • Foundation: 6 months to 1 year (risk of infection – blemish alert)
  • Powder: 1 – 2 years
  • Blush: 6 to 12 months
  • Eye shadow: 6 months to 2 years (cream shadows expire sooner)
  • Eyeliner: 2 years (risk of infection)
  • Liquid Eye Liner: 3 – 6 months (risk of infection)
  • Mascara: 3 – 4 months (risk of infection)
    Hint: Never pump your mascara; air pushes back into the tube, decreasing its shelf life & inviting airborne bacteria.
  • Lipstick and gloss: 1 to 2 years
  • Brushes: wash every 2 -3 months (blemish alert)
  • Sponges: wash weekly, discard monthly (big time blemish alert)
  • Applicator sponges and brushes: toss disposable ones weekly and wash others regularly to prevent bacteria growth
  • Nail polish: 1 to 2 years

Even though manufacturers are not required to follow these guidelines and to put expiration dates on their cosmetics, please remember they really do have a limited shelf life.  If a product’s appearance, scent, color, or texture just doesn’t seem right prior to the suggested expiration date on above list, then do yourself a favor and trash it anyway.  Is it worth taking a risk?

Source reference: Triangle Style


Elf Cosmetics


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