beautygrind

Your Beauty Products Have A Shelf Life. Many Of Your Favorites Are Probably Expired.

In beauty, makeup on June 8, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Parting is such sweet sorrow but there is a chance that some of the makeup you used today is old or expired. Learn when to throw away your favorite beauty products to ensure product performance and personal safety.

Everyone knows that you are a beauty enthusiast. You jump at every opportunity to add newness to your expansive collection of lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeshadow palettes, highlighters and bronzers. Just seeing these items on your vanity brings a level of joy and satisfaction unexplainable – even if you haven’t used half of these products in several months. It’s ok. No judgement here.

Watching your favorite social media influencers, bloggers and celebrities with their highly stylized makeup/beauty organization systems that hold the latest and greatest in-demand beauty items only makes you actually leave the house just to buy more product to use and display. Or place and Amazon and Ikea order. And let’s not even talk about that order that is already coming in the mail:  I stalk You stalk the delivery guy, staring out of the window, making sure the doorbell is still working and incessantly check the tracking status to see where my your packages of hopes and dreams are – although the order was just placed 3 minutes ago.

But what happens after the initial joy of said new makeup and other beauty products wear off?  Like the older, once beloved products, they get tossed to the side, stored away in a drawer somewhere and forgotten about. That is until you decide to wear it again. But before you bring that lipstick and blush back into rotation, proceed with caution because chances are that product may have expired. What’s important here is understanding that your beauty products have a shelf life and to ensure optimal product performance and personal health and safety, it is important to be aware of the symbols and dates on the packaging.

What Is Makeup Shelf Life?

Just like the foods we enjoy, the makeup we use has a shelf life. When you open up a carton of milk or your favorite chips, its only a matter of days until the milk goes sour and those chips become stale and less enjoyable. Not to mention the fresh fresh fruits and veggies from the produce section without the preservatives. After 2 or 3 days, these food become a soggy, smelly, moldy mess. It’s a similar concept with your makeup and other beauty products.

Mold and bacteria are the culprits when it comes to makeup going bad. Makeup can be preserved for a period before it actually reaches you.  These products will eventually go bad but it will take longer because they are not opened and are usually stored in a cool dark place, preserving the shelf life.  For the purpose of this discussion however, we will discuss the shortened shelf life of product after purchase, when it is opened and exposed to various conditions.

All makeup has an expiration date or a PAO – Period After Opening. An expiration date, whether or not a package is opened, indicates the span of time up until the stated expiration date that a product is expected to perform before it degrades and without any adverse reaction to the user. The PAO is usually marked on the back of packaging with a small jar with a number in it.  This number indicates the life span of that product after opening.  Since most people don’t keep the original packaging their product comes in, it’s a good idea to write the date you opened the product or keep a log.  Sure this is extra work but makeup that has gone bad is a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause a host issues such as skin and eye irritation, site swelling, breakouts and infections that may require medical attention.

With that said, how do you know when to throw your makeup and other beauty products away?  When there is a change in color, texture, consistency, odor or performance as well as unusual separation of the product. If your product is preservative free, you will definitely need to be mindful of the shelf life.  Keep the following guidelines in mind when purchasing and storing product:

  • Control the temperature your makeup is stored in.  If possible, don’t keep your makeup in the bathroom where the temperatures fluctuate consistently and definitely do not leave your makeup in your car.
  • Don’t share your makeup and replace eye makeup after an eye infection.
  • Wash your hands before using your product.
  • Avoid jars when possible.  Every time you open a jar and stick your fingers in your product, it becomes contaminated.  Using a spatula can minimize the growth of bacteria.
  • Use a makeup sanitizer spray.  Also use a tissue to wipe off layer of uncertainty and make sure you clean your brushes.
  • Although it can be more economically sound to purchase the larger size of something, consider how often you will use the product.
  • If you find that you need to dispose of a product, do so by putting it in the garbage instead of pouring down the drain to avoid clogging the drain and contributing to contaminated water ways.

Below is a list of the estimated shelf life after opening for frequently used products (give or take):

Foundation

Oil Free – 12 months

Cream and Liquid – 18 months to 2 years

Concealer

Powder and Stick – 18 months to 2 years.

Liquid and Cream – 6 months to 1 year.

The closer these products are to liquid for the sooner it should be thrown away.

Powder

Foundation, Blush, Bronzer, Highlighter (loose or pressed) – up to 2 years.

Be sure to use clean tools when applying to minimize transferring of bacteria from brush to product to skin.

Eye Liner

Pencils can last up to 18 months. By sharpening the pencil before use, you will shave off some of the layer of uncertainty. You will know when to throw away when the pencil begins to crumble when sharpening or there is a white film that wont come off when sharpening. Be sure to sanitize your sharpener as well.

Liquid and gel – 3 months

Cream Eye shadow

Up to 6 months. Consider throwing away sooner if it’s a pot that you use your fingers to apply the product.

Mascara 

Up to 3 months. If the smell and consistency changes before then, throw it away.

Lipstick, Liquid Lip Stain and Lip Gloss

Up to 1 year. Traditional lipsticks may last a little longer because the top layer can be sanitized with alcohol and shaved with a lint free paper towel. It’s also a good idea to replace these items if you’ve been sick.

Lip Liner

Up to 12 months. Use the same rule of thumb for eyeliner pencils (above).

Brushes

2-5 years, sometimes longer with proper cleaning, conditioning, and storage. Sponges should be cleaned or thrown away after a couple of uses.

Nail Polish

Nail polish doesn’t go bad as quickly because of the solvents/ingredients in it. But once separation occurs that isn’t fixed with shaking the bottle, it’s probably time to throw it away. The same thing goes for polish that has become thick and goopy. If using paint thinner (nail polish remover) doesn’t help, throw the nail polish away.

How consistent are you with throwing away older beauty products? Share your comments below.

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