The Ultimate Make-up Shelf Life Guide

Just like most things, make-up can expire. Throwing out the old and replacing with the new is especially important when it comes to the products you put on your face. Expired, nasty products can lead to breakouts and even infections. I know, it’s disgusting. Eye makeup that has bacteria from years of use can cause redness, irritation, and pink eye. Using old foundation and brushes just pushes around dead skin, dirt and oil that was picked up from your face the day before. What about acne? Old makeup can contribute to that too. Expired products can house breakout-causing bacteria. No one wants that! The tricky thing is, some products have longer shelf lives than others. Here’s how you know what products need to be trashed.


This one is important. You are taking the wand from your lashes into the tube, along with any bacteria it may have picked up. Gross! To be safe, you should replace your mascara every two to three months, or any time you feel some irritation. If your mascara is turning flakey, a new supply is very overdue!


Same rules apply as mascara here. When it comes to your eyes, every two to three months is the rule. Pencil liners will last a bit longer, but only by a month. If your pencil starts to get dried out and white at the tip, time to invest in a new one!


If you aren’t using powder, your foundation is water-based. Where there’s water, there’s bacteria. If you keep your foundation in the bathroom, steam from hot showers can make the bottle a breeding ground. Because of this, foundation should be trashed every year. If you want something that will last a bit longer, switch to powder foundation. This only needs to be replaced every two years.


Brushes are like the Italian leather of makeup: A good one will last forever, but only if you take care of it. Don’t forget to clean them! Lukewarm water and standard bar soap will do the trick. Just scrub the tip of your brush against your palm until the water runs clear, but be careful not to get the base wet (where the actual brush meets the handle). This will make the bristles more likely to fall off. Do this every other week, or more often if you have break-out issues.

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Have you ever considered the shelf life of your make-up? Tweet us @litdarling! 

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