It’s never easy to let go of your favorite things, especially when you’re the sentimental type. It’s always tempting to hold on to your favorite lipstick brand that’s been discontinued for years, or your first ever brush from high school, or even that mascara you’ve been keeping in your bag for more than a year but doing so is never a good idea.
After a certain amount of time, cosmetics start to become breeding grounds for bacteria, which ultimately cause skin irritation and eye infection. That’s why it’s important to be aware of a cosmetic product’s expiration date.
Now this doesn’t mean that the makeup expiration dates on your favorite cosmetics is the be all end all of whether you should start throwing your makeup away. You basically start the clock the first time you use your makeup, not the date you purchased them. So how do you even know when to start cleaning out your makeup kit?
Here’s a short guide on checking the makeup expiration date on the most commonly used cosmetic items.
Lipstick and Lip Gloss
Lipstick and lip gloss tend to be usable for at least one year after the first use. A good way to tell whether it’s time to throw your lipstick out is when it starts to change in consistency, either when it turns goopy or if it dries out. To make your favorite lipstick last longer, make sure you store it in a cool, dry place, so whatever you do, never forget it inside a hot car.
Eyeliner and Brow Pencils
Because they’re constantly being sharpened, brow pencils tend to last longer than most cosmetics, especially so if they’ve been kept dry. If you’ve been keeping them in a very humid place, however, don’t expect them to last longer than a year, which is the usual lifespan of brow pencils.
A good way to check whether a foundation is going bad is by applying it to the back of your hand first. If it’s starting to separate, then it’s probably a good time to throw it out. Making sure that you keep your fingers away from the actual cosmetic, and only using brushes or other tools improves their longevity. A good time frame to follow for foundations is about six months to one year.
One of the longest lasting products in any beauty routine are perfumes. When kept away from direct sunlight and in the proper containers, they can last as long as 8 years to a decade. Some brands can even be stored indefinitely inside a refrigerator if you really want to make them last a while.
Replacing your mascara is an important habit that you should always have, as bad mascara can cause eye infections. It’s important to replace mascara every three or so months, or if you start noticing the formula starting to get clumpy or start smelling bad. Another good way to keep yourself from getting eye infections is by not sharing your mascara.
While powder shadows last long in theory, much like mascara, it’s a good idea to change them out sooner, at least once every three to six months. Since you’re using this close to your eyes, you’re still at risk of getting eye infections, especially if you’re not storing them properly, or if you’re in the habit of sharing them. That is why you should always double check your makeup expiration date on all your products.