Does makeup expire?

United States
August 8, 2009 4:05pm CST
Does makeup go bad or have expiration dates? I know that it's not good to share makeup and whatnot especially eyeliners/mascara...but what about the length of time that makeup is good? I do throw away mascara is it clumpy and doesn't look right...but what is the rule for time period of keeping makeup?
5 responses
• China
8 Aug 09
Make up certainly has its expiration dates.Basically,I keep my new make up for two years at most.Then I will buy new one.I use them for one year after I open it,otherwise the skin won't be good.Using make up out of date is dangerous and will cause side effects.
• United States
9 Aug 09
Ok, I wish that companies would put an expiration date on their makeup so that the consumers know that it's not good to use for more than a certain amount of time, especially if it's dangerous for your skin and/or eyes.
• United States
11 Aug 09
A lot of makeups, particularly foundations, do have dates on them, except they print them on the boxes, not on the product, so the only way to remember is to write on the product with a markr when you buy it. But remember, those dates also only pertain to items that have NEVER been opened. As soon as you open a product and expose it to air, the expiration dates really mean nothing and the product should be used with in 3 months to a year or so, depending on the type of product.
@magickat (382)
3 Sep 09
It definitely does go off and can end up containing bacteria and other nasties which are bad news, especially for your eyes! Most packs have a symbol on the back that looks like a pot with a lid off and will have numbers and a letter next to it, like 12M. This stands for 12 months and shows how long a product is safe to use after you have opened it. There is some great new technology called Timestrip which is just beginning to get into the cosmetics market. Basically, it's a strip with dye which is triggered when you open the pack and when the dye fills the strip it is time to throw the product away.
• United States
3 Sep 09
I think that timestrip technology would be really good for makeup...because I can never remember when I had originally opened my makeup because I use certain things frequently and other things not so frequently.
• United States
8 Aug 09
If it starts to smell different, throw it out. I recently decided to go through my makeup case and discovered stuff that I know I used back in high school (gasp!) 10 years ago. Straight into the trash it went. I don't know if there is a guideline for shelf life, but I wouldn't keep anything for the eyes and mouth for more than a year. Skin, probably would be fine for longer.
• United States
9 Aug 09
Ok thanks, I figure eye shadow really doesn't expire but I knew mascara and eye liner probably isn't good after a year or so. Good thing I wear a lot of makeup so my makeup doesn't usually last a year before it's practically gone.
• United States
17 Aug 09
I read somewhere about the shelf life for cosmetics, and some are as short as 6 months. I remember that is for lip balms. The most I read was 3 years, although I don't remember what it was for. It all depends on the ingredients, and as a general rule those closest to the lips and eyes expire the fastest.
• United States
11 Aug 09
Yes, makeup does have a shelf life, particularly once it has been opened and exposed to air, as this allows germs or bacteria to get inside. Natural makeup has a much shorter shelf life than "regular" make up, as there are no chemicals in them, but here are some guidlines: Liquid Foundation: 1 year Cream or compact foundation: 18 months Powder: 2 years Blush/Bronzer: 2 years Cream Blush:18 months Pwder Eyeshadow: 2 years Cream eyeshadow: 18 months Eyeliner: 2 years Liquid Eyeliner: 3-6 months Mascara: 3 months Lip Stick: 2 years Lip Liner: 2 years Lip Gloss: 18-24 months Nail Color: 1 year. As you can see, the more "moist" the product is, the shorter the shelf life. Also, if you EVER have any kind of eye infection, or contagious mouth sore, you are best off to toss any makeup you used while you had it, as using the make up again, can just bring back the infection. Sorry, i closed the browser of the site i found this info on, and forgot to get the address to pass on, but it was one of the big beauty magazine sites. If you do a search i am sure you can find other lists of make up shelf lives.