When Should I Toss These Old Makeup Products?

Just as you toss old and expired food and clean out the medicine cabinet, you also need to clean our your makeup bag regularly. That’s right, cosmetics can go bad just like a carton of eggs, though not quite so quickly.

Over time cosmetics will lose their effectiveness and, at worse, can even cause infection or irritation to your skin or eyes.

Different products have different life spans, so here is an easy to follow guide to help you keep your makeup bag fresh and up to date.

1. When to Toss Liquid Foundation

Generally face makeup should be tossed after six months. This is true whether you've finished the bottle or not. The reason is that the daily dipping into the makeup and you are transfers germs from your hands to the liquid. Over time, these germs can cause bacteria to grow on your face resulting in additional breakouts. Another reason is that over time liquid makeup loses its ability to go on smoothly, so replacing within six months will keep your face both clearer and smoother and we know that's how you want it!

2. When to Toss Mascara

Mascara should be tossed after only three months. There is a two-fold reason.

Reason 1: Mascara tubes are dark and moist and therefore a great breeding ground for bacteria. If bacteria begins to grow and is transferred to your eyes you are not in for a happy time.

Reason 2: After three months, any lengthening or thickening properties of the mascara begin to break down and thus you end up with an inferior product.

3. When to Toss Eyeliner and Eye Shadow

Like mascara, a liquid eyeliner provides a great breeding ground for bacteria and should be tossed after three months. Eyeliner pencils and powder eye shadow have a bit more of a life span and can safely hang around for up to two years. It's good practice to regularly sanitize your brow and eyeliner pencil sharpeners by rinsing with alcohol once a month. This will reduce the amount of bacteria that could be lurking on the sharpener.

4. When to Toss Lipstick and Lip Gloss

Luckily, lipstick and lip gloss have a significantly longer life span at about two years. A good rule of thumb, however, is to never share lipstick or lip gloss with others because it can put you at risk of everything from the common cold to herpes.


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About the Author


Hi, I'm Liz, owner of the Wilmington Laser Hair Removal and Skin Clinic. My team and I would love to help you achieve your beauty, skin care, and hair removal goals. Schedule your free consultation today!