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Is Your Makeup Outdated?

Do you know the expiration date of the eyeshadow swimming in the bottom of your makeup bag? What about the lipstick you only use on special occasions? It turns out, makeup doesn’t last forever. Here’s a guide to help you know when to toss it.

Makeup expiration dates are no joke. Ignore them and you’re risking skin inflammation and irritation. Plus, outdated makeup can breed bacteria, which can cause a slew of issues from pink eye to pimples.

outdated makeup


You might notice your mascara is getting dry or clumpy, which is the first hint that it’s time to buy a new tube. Most mascaras have a short life of two to three months, after which they’re not only less effective, but can also begin to harbor bacteria.


Opting for an eye pencil will allow you to keep your product for up to two years if you sharpen it often. If you go for a gel or liquid liner, they’re more prone to bacteria, so you should replace them every three months.


If you have a gloss, it’ll expire in around a year, whereas a traditional lipstick should be good for about two years. Dry lipstick or lipstick with a funky smell are good indicators that it’s expired, as is a goopy gloss.

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation can last a while, so you’ll likely use it up before it expires. Most formulas last from six to 12 months or more.

Powder-Based Cosmetics

You can hang on to eyeshadow, blush, and powder for up to two years, thanks to their powdery (rather than wet) formula. Once they start to become flaky or extra dry, you’ll want to invest in something new.


Cosmetic companies aren’t required to post an expiration date on products, so most don’t. To remember when to toss it, write the date on each new makeup piece you purchase when you bring it home.

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