What You Really Need to Know About Makeup Expiration Dates
We know you don’t want to throw away your favorite blush or lipstick, but abiding by makeup expiration dates is actually incredibly important. Why? Cosmetics trap bacteria, which means replacing them regularly is necessary to avoid skin irritation, breakouts, eye infections, and styes. But unlike the contents of your fridge, the use-by date on your makeup products are reliant upon the first day you use them, not the purchase date. How do you know when to toss that foundation or mascara? The more moisture the product has—or the closer it comes to your eyes—the shorter its life span. Separation or changes in texture or smell are dead giveaways the product has gone bad.
Click through our slideshow for exactly how long you can use your favorite products without worry.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation ($44)
Shelf Life: Six months to a year
Tips: Keep your foundation germ-free for longer by keeping your fingers away from the neck of the bottle. Instead, gently drip the formula onto the back of your hand before you apply. If you notice your foundation starting to separate, it’s definitely time to toss it.
Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara ($7)
Shelf Life: Three months
Tips: Replacing your mascara regularly is incredibly important to avoid eye infections. Switch out every three months (or sooner if you notice the formula getting clumpy or starting to smell funny, which means it’s gone bad). And, of course, don’t ever share mascara!
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ($23)
Shelf Life: 12 to 18 months
Tips: Toss cream blush and “multiple” sticks (as in, products you can use on your cheeks and lips) if you notice a change in their texture—and always use clean hands when applying them to help keep the tubes and pots germ-free.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.