We have all come across the random make up item found in the back of our bathroom drawer or the very bottom of our makeup bag and most of the time, it’s like finding a lone one hundred dollar bill in your jacket pocket; very exciting! You think, “Wow, I totally forgot about this! I can’t wait to use it!”. But the question we too often forget to ask ourselves is, “What is the shelf life of my makeup”? Here are some of the most common cosmetics and how long they can last before you should toss and replace them.
Lipstick: These have a fairly long shelf life at around two years. Just be sure to wipe off any excess residue after each use and secure the cap.
Lip and Eye Pencils: Two years is the magic number for these as well. To keep them in tip top condition, sharpen them before each use to get a fresh use without previous grime and bacteria from your eyes or lips.
Mascara: This eyelash wonder has the shortest shelf life due to the risk of bacteria transferring from your eyes. Keep your mascara no longer than three months. I know, this can be hard to do if you do not wear mascara everyday and do not want to throw away half a tube of mascara at the end of three months, but it is completely necessary for your safety.
Eyeshadow: Liquid eyeshadows will last about a year while powder eye shadows will last for two years. This is because liquid items are more at risk of collecting bacteria than dry items are.
Blush and Powder: Just like eye shadow, if you have a cream blush, it should be tossed after one year. All other powder blushes and powder can last two years. These rules, of course, can vary. As with anything else, if you start to smell or see something on your makeup that wasn’t there before, it is best to replace it.
Foundation and Concealer: I tend to be the most picky about my foundation and concealer because they cover the most amount of space on my face and are usually the key factors as to how healthy my skin is. Moisturizing foundations and concealer sticks will last the longest at 18 months because it takes longer for them to dry out. On the other hand, oil free cosmetics will last for a year purely because they will dry out quickly. Personally, my foundation and concealer will never last that long because I use them almost everyday and they are not items that I have multiples of like eyeshadows and lipsticks, but every woman is different and must tailor her needs specifically for their use.
Common major health tips for all cosmetics are: Immediately throw away any products that you have used while sick, especially ones that go on your eyes as they are the closest to bodily fluids. Reusing these items will only cause more bacteria and could cause a whole new infection. Also, use clean brushes and applicators not only for the health of your skin, but to make your cosmetics last longer as well. When you do not frequently clean your applicators, the bacteria will build up and stay on the makeup making it prone to break or discolor. Store all of your goods in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and be sure to close tightly after each use. Since the US does not have any law that requires manufacturers to put an expiration date on makeup items, it is up to you to make the best decision for your makeup. An easy way to remember how long you have had an item is to write the date of purchase on the item with a permanent marker so that you know exactly how long you have had it. This will also help you realize what products you use frequently and which ones you never use and should probably save your money and stop purchasing.
What tips do you have for makeup safety and which products do you have the most of?