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When it’s time to go through your home and sort through all your belongings and decide whether to keep, toss, or donate your belongings, do you include your makeup? According to health experts, you should. There are some people who have huge makeup collections that they accumulate over years but keeping all those products could be harmful to your health. Let’s review the reasons why and when you should toss that makeup.

Makeup Really Does Expire

Even though makeup products do not usually have expiration dates on them, they do go bad eventually. Determining when makeup goes bad depends on a few factors.

  • If makeup is unopened it can stay good for years if kept at the right temperature, but once you open it the ingredients start to degrade
  • Where you store your makeup will affect the growth of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and yeast. You should avoid places where your makeup is exposed to heat and humidity such as the bathroom. Instead, you should pick a dry place that maintains a cool temperature
  • A makeup product that you are constantly touching and introducing bacteria to will go bad faster than a product that you are pumping out of a container and is not exposed to outside contaminants
  • Makeup products that contain SPF will not protect your skin after they have been open for six months
  • Powders will stay good longer than liquid and cream makeups that contain water

Mascara and Eyeliner

Mascara and eyeliner are products that are very close to the eyes and could come into contact with them. Liquid and cream mascara and eyeliners are usually stored in a dark moist environment which is a good place for microorganisms to live and grow. If this happens then you could get an eye infection. You should throw out your mascara and liquid/gel/cream eyeliner every six months to prevent infection. If the products have any changes in texture or smell or you recently had an eye infection, you should throw them away sooner. Dry eyeliner pencils stay good for longer because they contain less water and you can clean them with an alcohol wipe.

Lip Products

Many lip products are made as a cream. They also are usually applied directly to the lips which makes contamination highly likely. Lip products should be discarded every four to six months. You should toss them sooner if you get a cold sore because you could give yourself more cold sores by continuing to use a contaminated product.

Liquid and Cream Foundations

Foundation is normally used all over the face. If it is too old or has become contaminated, it could cause skin reactions and irritation. Remember that if it is in a pump bottle it will last longer because it is less likely to become contaminated. These products should be tossed every six months or sooner if you notice changes in the texture of the make-up.

Powder Products

Since powder products don’t contain as much water, they are stable for a longer amount of time. They are less likely to grow bacteria, fungus, and mold than products that contain water. Powder products are good for up to two years. Remember to keep them clean and toss them if they develop a smell or change in texture. To keep them clean minimize how much you touch them with your hands and keep your make-up brushes clean.

Key Takeaways

  • Make-up products can grow bacteria, fungus, and mold so that can cause infections.
  • You should throw out your make-up at recommended intervals or sooner if you notice a change in smell or texture of the product or have had a recent lip, eye, or face infection.


When should you toss your makeup? (2021, May 5). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved April 29, 2022