When to Throw Away Makeup: Knowing Beauty Expiration Dates

We all have been guilty of keeping makeup past their expiration date, but how do you know when that is? You probably spend a lot of money on beauty products, so it’s only natural wanting to stretch out the life span to feel that it was money well spent, but there dangers of of extending the shelf life is not worth it.

Once opened and used, the consistency of your makeup will change and can cause infections, skin irritation, and more due to bacteria forming over time. The products will not be as efficient to help you complete your desired look, so knowing when to call it quits is crucial.


Most may not know that most cosmetics contain a Period After Opening (PAO) label to indicate when to toss out that product because it typically is so tiny you would need a magnifying glass to view it. Labeling your products with the date it was opened is a helpful way to keep track of the expiration. If your products do not happen to have this label, here’s a general guide of when to throw out your cosmetics:

Mascara – 3-6 months (double dipping will shorten the shelf life)

Foundation – 6 months – 2 years (liquid foundation 6 months to a year and powder up to 2 years)

Eyeliner – 6 months – 1 year

Eyes shadow – 6 months – 2 years (cream shadows 6 months to a year and powder up to 2 years)

Lipstick – 2 years

Lip Gloss – 1 year

Concealer – 1 year

Lip & Eye Pencils – 2 years

Blush – 1 year

Do you throw out your cosmetics by the expiration date?



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