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Makeup expiry dates: does it really matter?

The short answer is YES.

The longer answer is yes, but the dates are approximate, depending on how hygienic you are when using them. If following the hygiene golden rules (see Say no to double-dipping…) then your products will gather less bacteria, and therefore last longer.

The expiry periods below are a guide so using a product for an extra month or two won’t be harmful.  As a general rule throw out any makeup where the smell, texture or colour has changed. That is an indicator that the chemicals are breaking down and you should stop using it NOW.

Makeup expiry guide

Eyes
Powder eyeshadow – 2 years (can be longer if you spray after each use with sanitiser)
Cream shadow – 12 – 18 months
Liquid liner/ mascara – 3-6 months
Gel liner – 18 months to 2 years

Lips
Lipstick bullet/ palette – 2 years
Lip liner pencil – 2 years
Lip gloss – 18 – 24 months (may be longer if in a squeezable tube e.g. Lancome Juicy Tubes/ OCC Lip Tars)

Face
Oil-free liquid foundation – 12 months
Cream foundation compact/ foundation stick – 18 months
Cream concealer/ cream blusher – 12-18 months
Face powder/ blusher/ bronzer – up to 2 years (can be longer if you spray after each use with sanitiser)

If you find it hard to remember when you bought an item, then start labelling sticky paper dots (below) with month & year (mm/yy) of purchase and stick it to the lid or underside of the packaging.

sticky dots

Time to declutter your makeup bag/ kit? 

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