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Make Up Expiration Dates: When to Toss Your Cosmetics

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According to a March 9, 2000, FDA report (revised October 15, 2002), “Consumers should be aware that make up expiration dates are simply ‘rules of thumb. That means a product’s safety may expire long before the expiration date if the product has not been properly stored.

Cosmetics that have been improperly stored may deteriorate substantially before the expiration date. Examples of improper storage:

  • exposed to high temperatures
  • exposed to sunlight
  • opened and examined by consumers prior to final sale

On the other hand, products stored under ideal conditions may be acceptable long after the expiration date has been reached.

Make Up Expiration Dates

Foundation expiration

Sorry, girls. Your foundation will only last three to six months.

Concealer expiration

Wand applicator concealers should be tossed within six months since they’re likely to grow bacteria. Stick, twist-up tubes, or compact concealers can last up to 12 months, especially if you use a makeup brush to apply the product.

Pressed powder cosmetics expiration

Collage of makeup and makeup brushes to represent makeup expiration dates.

Facial powder, blush and eyeshadow should be thrown out after one year. If you get an eye infection, however, you’ll have to toss out any eyeshadow you’ve used. That keeps you from re-infecting yourself.

Lip gloss and lipstick

Sadly, your lip products should only stick around for one year.


You should always replace mascara after three months. Or, immediately if it becomes dry, or you develop an eye infection. Don’t ever
share mascara.

Eye and lip pencils

If you sharpen your makeup pencils every few days, they can last a year or longer. It’s time to trash them when they become dry, crumbly, and hard to apply.

All-natural cosmetics

Because these products do not contain preservatives, they should be used or discarded within six months.

More makeup preservation tips

  1. Don’t ever share cosmetics.
  2. Don’t put your fingers into the product. Use the applicator provided, or a makeup sponge.
  3. Keep containers tightly closed. Store them in a cool, dry place.
  4. Don’t use water or saliva to ease the application of a product. Doing so introduces bacteria into the product, which can cause a host of problems.
  5. Immediately toss the product out if there is a change of color, texture or consistency; if the ingredients settle or separate; or if an odor develops.

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Friday 20th of January 2012

I would like to know the expiration on eye shadow??


Tuesday 30th of November 2010

I used to figure out expiration date of my makeup. It can calculate the date from the code printed on the container.

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