Cosmetics are not required to carry an expiration date but they do spoil and/or lose their effectiveness over time. At the really bad end of the spectrum they may cause infection or skin irritation. Creams, gels, lotions or other water-based cosmetics are more likely than powders to foster moisture-loving bacteria. Whenever any cosmetic product is opened and exposed to air and light it begins to degrade. To extend your cosmetic’s shelf life, keep tightly capped and store containers away from heat and sunlight. For safety sake, follow the “toss by” tips below.
- Mascara—Use within 3 months. Do not add water or pump the wand into the tube. That can introduce microbes that make mascara spoil faster and irritate eyes. I know it is no longer good when it becomes clumpy; brush does not evenly transfer mascara onto lashes
- Lipstick—Good for 1-2 years. I know it is no longer good when oils in formula turn rancid; color fades; oil droplets form; once-shiny lipstick looks dull or matte
- Foundation – Bottle. Use within 3-6 months. Wide-mouthed jars can expose more product to air, making it break down more rapidly. It is no longer good when ingredients begin to settle or separate; texture thins or thickens; odor seems off.
- Foundation – Pressed Powder—Good for 1+ years. It is no longer good when glaze forms on top; odor seems off.
- Foundation – Loose Powder—Good for 1+ years. It is no longer good when odor seems off.
- Powder, Eye Shadow, and Blush—Good for 1+ years. It is no longer good when glaze forms on top; powder cracks or crumbles.
- Eye & Lip Pencils—Good for 1+ years. Sharpen eye pencils weekly to prevent bacteria from being transferred to your eye area. It is no longer good when product dries or crumbles.
Your nose is a beautifully designed safety feature. If food or cosmetics or any product that you eat or touch smells off, it’s a good rule of thumb to not put it on your skin or in your mouth.