What You Need To Know About Makeup Expiration Dates

Unlike food and other consumable items, makeup companies from the United States don’t have to show an expiration date on their products. However, for us consumers, this could be a bit problematic. Beyond the obvious signs — dried mascara or separated foundation — it can be tough to tell when something's past it's prime.

If you’ve looked after your products well, they might still look and even perform ok for a long time. The issue here is that using expired products can cause all kinds of nasty side effects from rashes to allergies to infections. After all, these things are generally in contact with your skin and can be a breeding ground for germs. This handy guide will help you to decipher whether your makeup is still ok to use or should be thrown away.

Powder Products

Out of all the items in your makeup collection, powder products will generally last the longest. Bacteria has a hard time breeding in dry areas, so things like blushes, bronzers, eyeshadows and face powders can last for two years or more. However, that doesn’t mean they are immune to expiry. Therefore if you notice a change in your product's color, texture or smell, it’s best to throw it in the bin.

Sometimes powder products can develop a hard film on their surface, which makes it harder to get the pigment from the product to your brush. This is usually due to oil buildup from your makeup brushes. While there are ways to remove this, it often damages the powder underneath. If you’ve had a product for a while and this happens, your best bet is to get rid of it. You can avoid this in the future by regularly washing your makeup brushes and only using makeup brushes on very clean skin.

Canmake powder

Mascara and Lip Gloss

Mascara should be replaced every three months. It's wand is directly in contact with your lashes and could quickly build up with bacteria. Therefore, keeping one for too long can eventually lead to irritation and eye infections. What is more, if you are regularly using a mascara, then within three months, it is usually past it's best and starting to dry out anyway.

High-end mascaras can be an expensive "habit" since they only last for a short time. To keep costs down, experiment with high street brands which can be excellent, but only cost a fraction of the price. A site like https://www.thankyourbeauty.com will help you find the best ones. The same applies to lip gloss. Being a liquid-y product that is directly applied to your skin, it’s easy for it to pick up bacteria. Therefore, you should get rid of it every three months or so.

Foundation and Concealer

For foundation and concealer, it depends on the packaging. For example, ‘pots’ of product which you dip your hands into will expire more quickly, even if you only use clean hands. Products with a pump will last longer. Either way, you should get rid of any foundation after around a year.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.


  1. Thank you so much for this! I was contemplating buying a couple new eyeshadow palettes, but were afraid I wouldn't use them enough before they expired. I think I'll be fine, haha! xx

    -- you know my links I just am too lazy atm to put them in sooo there you go

    1. Thank you for you comment Kyia! :) I was just wondering whether I should throw away my old MAC highlighters, but they are way too pretty I think I will keep them for a bit longer haha! :D

  2. I use my products way past the expiry on them, which is bad I know, but I've never had any issues with them. I just can't face throwing out a barely used product!


    1. I can definitely understand that! I couldn't throw away a lipgloss after it's only 3 months old, but I do try to not buy any new ones before I use up my old products. :)


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