Why Throwing Out Expired Makeup is Important

We all tend to hold onto makeup a little too long. It just sits on your vanity until it runs out - which could take up to 3x past its expiration date. We’ve all had that moment of “how long have I had this??”.  Expiration dates serve a more important purpose than getting you to buy another product. Cosmetics trap bacteria, which can cause irritation, breakouts, eye infections and styes if not thrown away after its expiration date. If you’re confused about how to tell if your makeup is expired, there are multiple ways of knowing that may save you from a serious infection. 

What is an expiration date? 

An expiration date is a date after which your cosmetic product will be expired and should not be used on the skin. By law, this date must be specified only for the cosmetics which its shelf life period is 30 months or less. If this date is present, it should be printed directly on the outside packaging or product package.

What happens to makeup when it expires?

The older makeup gets, the less it works, and the more bacteria it builds. The ingredients in your makeup will corrode and oxidize over time, meaning it will alter the performance of the product with less longevity. Using old eyeliners can irritate the eye area causing it to become puffy, red, or swollen. The products used around your eyes (mascara and eyeliner) have the shortest shelf life, which is typically around 3 months. Expired setting powders can irritate your skin causing little red bumps that look like acne. Expired lip products can cause painful cold sores. Base products like foundation or concealer and anything used around the eyes should be priority #1 when throwing out expired makeup.  

What if I use expired makeup on my skin?

Consumers who have sensitive skin should be very aware of expired cosmetics. Someone can suffer from a skin infection, irritation, dermatitis, or an allergic reaction from repetitively using expired makeup, no thank you! 

Breakouts are common when makeup starts to grow bacteria in it, not necessarily expired but definitely on its way out. This is why it’s important to wash your hands or clean your makeup brushes once a week to limit the amount of bacteria that comes in contact with your beloved products. 

If you use an expired cosmetic product once or twice, don’t worry too much. Wash your face well with soap and water and don’t wear any makeup for a few days to let your skin breathe. It’s the repetition of expired products that pose more serious health effects. 

How can I tell if my cosmetics are expired?

There can be multiple indicators telling you that your cosmetics are expired. A simple rule is that if you find your makeup starting to perform differently, the shelf life has expired and your products won’t work as effectively. If your products start to have a pungent smell, bacteria are growing in it and you should throw it out. You should also pay attention to the formulation and texture of your cosmetics. If anything changes your products - sorry! But they have probably reached the end of the road. 

Its a good rule of thumb to not let your products sit in extreme heat - it will ruin the product! In the summer, it’s important to note if you order cosmetics to not let it sit outside for a long period of time. If it does, do a quality check yourself to see how to feels, smells and performs on your hand before putting it all over your face, because that would not be cute.

DO NOT store your makeup in the bathroom 

Although convenient, storing your makeup in the bathroom isn't the most sanitary thing you can do. Humid steam from your showers can cause accelerated mold growth causing your products to have a shorter shelf-life. Whether you know it or not, your bathroom is one of the dirtiest places in your living space. It’s better to store your makeup in a cool, dry place where mold or bacteria are less likely to live. 

Expiration dates of makeup