When good cosmetics go bad: when to toss your stash

Posted by The Spoiled Mama on

If you're anything like us, there's a drawer (or three) somewhere in your house full of forgotten lippies, lotion samples, soaps and outdated blue eye shadow.

Like most things, there's a recommended shelf life for makeup and expiration dates for your skin creams and serums...even if the hoarder within you denies it.

When cosmetics go bad: the shelf life of makeup and skin care

Aside from taking up valuable space, old cosmetics can get downright grimey and be dangerous for your skin. Makeup and skin care past its expiration have been known to cause rashes, acne blemishes and even infections!

Let's take a look at some signs you  may need to chuck some (or all) of your stash.

1. Generally, eye makeup lasts up to six months, while lipsticks may last a whopping three years.  

If your beloved makeup items have been opened and are older than these dates, time to throw 'em out:

  • Mascara (both regular or waterproof) and eyeliners (liquid, pencil or gel): 4-6 months
  • Powders and mineral makeup: 2-3 years
  • Foundation and concealers (cream or liquid): 6 month-1 year
  • Lip balms: 1 year
  • Lipsticks, glosses and lip pencils: 2-3 years

2. Wondering about your skin care? Yes, there's expiration dates on your creams as well. If the product has been open, follow this general guideline:

  • Facial cleansers: 1 year
  • Toners: 6 months to 1 year
  • Serums: 6 months to 1 year
  • Facial & body cream or lotion: 6 months - 1 year

3. Try the smell test. If something smells amiss, it usually is.

This is especially helpful if you use toxin-free pregnancy skin care, which often uses natural ingredients, and is free of synthetic fragrances that may cover up "off" smells

4. If everything smells alright, take a swab of the product and test it for texture. Expired beauty and skin care products may clump, become runny or separate altogether. If it feels different or isn't applying as it did upon opening, time to toss it out.

5. Water is the source of life, and in skin care and makeup, it is also the source of bacteria and other gross microbes. If the product's formula has high water content, or it's been exposed to water droplets (say, from your shower or wet finger tips), the product's shelf life will be considerably shorter.

6. Consider where it's been stored. Cosmetics generally like cool temperatures, so if yours have been in a hot car or muggy closet, you may have inadvertently shortened the life span of your products.

Extra bottles of facial or body oils, like our Bump Gloss oil for pregnancy stretch marks, is recommended to store in a dark, cool environment as UV rays shorten the shelf life of oils.

Have you ever had a bad experience from using expired makeup or skin care? Share your stories below!


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Hey gorgeous, stay ahead of the curve...

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