How Long Does Makeup Last? Here’s When It’s Time To Throw Away Products

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

ICYDK, beauty products also have their own shelf life—and it’s often shorter than you might expect.

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As a beauty lover, it pains me to deliver this message, but it’s high time to declutter a significant portion of your makeup stash. Just as food comes with a best-before date, beauty products also have their own shelf life, and it’s often shorter than you might expect.

Whether they are gifted, your favorite foundation, or a limited-edition, I understand the emotional attachment you can develop to makeup products, some of which may have been with you since college or even earlier. However, it’s crucial to recognize that using expired cosmetics can result in skin irritations, breakouts, and, in some cases, even infections.

Makeup has the potential to trap harmful bacteria, so it’s crucial to know when to bid farewell to your beloved beauty products. And no, this doesn’t mean to throw away your products freely. After all, we shouldn’t be contributing more unnecessary trash in landfills. So, don’t worry; we’re here to provide you with insights into the general shelf life of common beauty items and offer guidance on when it’s time to part ways—all in the pursuit of maintaining healthy and hassle-free skin.

First Things First, Check the Label

It’s important to pay attention to the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol stamped on all makeup products. You’ll spot this logo – an open pot image, a number, and the letter M – on the packaging. It’s like a built-in countdown timer, telling you how long your product can hang around after you break that seal. So, remember the month you cracked it open.

But what if you can’t find this nifty symbol? No worries, we’ve got your back. Here’s how you can tell when it’s time to bid your makeup farewell.

Primer and Setting Spray

While most setting sprays and primers will last for about 12 months, and sometimes even a little longer, ensuring the effectiveness of these beauty superheroes lies in recognizing the signs of expiration. Changes in texture, scent, or how they perform are like flashing red lights, telling you it’s time to make a change. By doing so, you’ll maintain that flawless and long-lasting makeup, all while keeping your skin’s health and hygiene in check.

Foundation and Concealer

Foundation and concealer form the backbone of your makeup routine, but even these essentials have their limits. Cream formulas typically have a shelf life of 6-12 months, which is kinda like a favorite TV series with a single season. On the flip side, powder-based products can stick in there for 24 months, giving them the resilience of a classic song that never goes out of style. However, it’s time to remove them from your repertoire when you notice changes in color, texture, or an not-so-pleasant odor. It’s all about keeping your product routine and knowing when to pause.

Blush, Bronzers, and Highlighters

Powder blushes, bronzers, and highlighters serve as the creative talents in your makeup toolkit, infusing your skin with color and a sun-kissed glow. These dependable companions typically maintain their quality for 1-2 years, much like a beloved painting that never loses its appeal. However, just as every masterpiece requires restoration, it’s essential to revamp your collection when you detect signs of wear and tear. Encountering the frustrating hard pan, observing alterations in color, or facing difficulties in achieving that perfect blend is nature’s way of prompting you to make room for fresh, lively shades that ensure your cheeks remain radiant and beautifully blushed.

Eyeliner and Mascara

Pencil eyeliners are like the long-lasting friends who can stick around for 24 months. On the flip side, liquid eyeliners are like the exciting new acquaintances, but they need to be replaced every 6-12 months. When you start noticing your eyeliner going crumbly, dry, or worse, irritating your precious peepers, it’s time to say goodbye. Keeping your eyes feeling comfortable is all about knowing when to part ways and make room for fresh lines.

Lip Products

Lip products are like the BFFs of our makeup collection, but here’s the lowdown: they’re also a breeding ground for bacteria, mainly because they get up close and personal with our mouths. Lipsticks, those trusty sidekicks, usually hang around for one to two years before they’re past their prime. Lip glosses, on the other hand, are a bit like the stars of a hit TV series, with a shelf life of six months to a year. If you catch a whiff of something off or your lipstick feels as dry as that forgotten desert island, it’s definitely time to part ways. It’s all about keeping that pout pretty and your lips healthy, no compromise.

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