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When and Why You Should Throw Out Old Makeup

Brigid McHugh

We all (or at least most of us) know to go through the fridge and the pantry and chuck food that is past it's expiration date. It's really simple, find the stamped date, and if it's too old, get rid of it. Why? Because things go bad, start to grow mold and bacteria, and we don't want to eat that. 

Cosmetics have an expiration date too! The problem is that cosmetics are not required to have an expiration date on their packaging. A lot of products will tell you how long after opening/purchasing they should be discarded, but it can be hard to keep track. Many cosmetics are oil based, and the oil in the products will go rancid after a period of time. Creams and liquids (especially those that go near your eyes) can pick up bacteria and microbes that you don't want to spread.

Makeup Application

The chart below gives a basic rule of thumb for most types of makeups. Timelines may vary according to manufacturer, but if you follow these basic standards for throwing out old makeup, your face will thank you! Consider marking your cosmetics with the date purchased, or adding your own expiration date to products. Try a sharpie, or a simple piece of masking tape.

 Type of Makeup
When To Chuck It
Mascara 3-6 Months
Eye Liner (Liquid or Gel) 3-6 Months
Foundation (Oil Free) 12 Months
Lipstick/Lip Liner 12 Months
Concealer 12-18 Months
Cream Shadow/Cream Blush 12-18 Months
Cream Foundation 18 Months
Lip Gloss 18-24 Months
Powder (Eye Shadow, Bronzer, Blush) 24 Months
Eye Pencil 24 Months

 

Remember that all shadows, mascaras and eye liners should be discarded immediately after any eye infections as well (think pink eye, etc.).

Don't forget to clean your makeup brushes on a regular basis, and those makeup sponges should get discarded every 6-12 months too!!



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