When Should I Throw out Old Cosmetics?

Article Details
  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Doctors are about 15% less likely to refer a patient for a cancer screening in the afternoon than in the morning.  more...

September 15 ,  1935 :  Germany adopted the swastika as the official Nazi symbol as the Nuremberg Laws took effect.  more...

Cosmetics have a limited lifespan. Using cosmetics that are old can cause several problems. Older cosmetics may harbor bacteria that may lead to breakouts or even infections. The color in some cosmetics may change over time, and a foundation that used to work perfectly may become too dark. It is a false economy to hang onto cosmetics that are outdated. It is a better idea to purchase fewer products so that you have time to use them before they expire.

When you buy new makeup, don’t think that you will be able to remember when you bought it. Instead, determine what the last date that you should use it will be, and write that date down on the package with a permanent marker. When that date arrives, even if the makeup still looks good, get rid of it.

The recommendations listed below are just guidelines. Some all natural products will not last as long as other types of cosmetics. They do not contain preservatives that extend the life of the makeup. Also, even if something is practically new, if it smells or looks funny, throw it out.


In general, powder products will last longer than cream formulations. Any cosmetics that are used around the eyes will not have as long of a shelf life as items used on the rest of the face. Finally, if you become sick, it makes sense to ditch your eye makeup after you recover. Along ith this talk about transferring bacteria, it goes without saying that sharing makeup is not something you should do.

Items that last for up to two years include face powder, powder blush, powder bronzer, powder eye shadow, lipstick, lip liner, and pencil eyeliner. While pencil eyeliner should remain safe for up to two years, you can sharpen the pencil frequently so that a clean surface is exposed. If you believe that any of these items may be contaminated, you can wipe off the surface area with a tissue to expose a clean area.

Cosmetics that should be replaced after one year include oil free foundation, cream foundation, compact powder, concealer, cream blush, lip gloss and nail polish. Replace liquid eyeliner and mascara every three months. Liquid eyeliner and mascara are easily contaminated, and should also be replaced if you develop conjunctivitis or other eye condition.

Replacing old makeup is an easy way to keep your skin healthy and looking good. Many people suffer from clogged pores and breakouts due to contaminated makeup. Although most people realize that eye makeup needs to be replaced frequently, they often do not realize other makeup can become outdated as well.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 2

@Scrbblchick: Guilty as charged. I've kept eye makeup much longer than I should, which is really not smart, since eye infections are no fun at all.

Foundation will get gunky after a certain length of time, so it solves the problem for you. When it gets gunky, it's time to throw it away. But if I find an eye pencil or something that is just what I was looking for, I have a hard time trashing it. Like you, I tend to get things that are then discontinued.

One lipstick I had was the kind that you put on, allowed to dry and then put a balm over it. It was a celebrity color, "Andie's Rose" by Andie McDowell, and it was just perfect for me. We have similar coloring. That lipstick got really gunky before I could make myself toss it.

Post 1

The main thing I hang on to is lipstick because sometimes, it can be difficult to find a particular shade again. I seem to have the bad luck of finding a great shade, only to have it discontinued when I'm ready to buy more. Eyeshadow really isn't a big deal -- most neutral shades are available all the time, but lipstick can be tricky.

I've gone to odd lengths to make a tube of lipstick last longer, and I'm always on the hunt for the "perfect" lipstick shade, whatever that shade may be. They tend to change a little every year, but my coloring doesn't, sadly.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?