One Overlooked Thing: How Long Does Your Makeup Last?
Most makeup people will own lots of cosmetics. But actually, we only use some cosmetics for once and just leave it alone. Lipsticks, facial creams, sunscreen, and even hair products have a tendency to accumulate – but when was the last time you considered clearing out your cosmetics drawer for any other reason than to free up space? And did you ever realized the shelf life of cosmetics?
Attention: Cosmetics Expirations
Generally speaking, cosmetics companies are expected to take the onus of determining shelf life for products into their own hands. Based on internal testing, a series of “voluntary shelf-life guidelines” have been developed by the cosmetics industry to standardize the acceptable shelf life for specific types of products (usually between 18 and 24 months, depending on the product). However, this doesn’t always translate well to actual usage. Because the shelf life is calculated from the day it was produced rather than the day you open it.
Start with these guidelines when digging through your makeup drawer, and keep in mind that they apply to products you’ve opened and used. Unopened products, when stored properly, we can keep them for roughly 12 to 18 months longer than the lengths of time listed here.
Liquid Foundations & Liquid or Cream Makeup
- Expiration: 6 Months
Liquids, by their very water- or oil-based nature, are more likely to grow bacteria and mold than solid, powdered formulas. Plus, because you’re constantly sticking your fingers and makeup brushes into the makeup, you’re transferring external bacteria into the product. So this kind of products can’t be reserved for a long time.
Powder Foundations & Powder-Formulated Makeup
- Expiration: 24 Months
Even if your powdered products are technically good for longer, that doesn’t mean you need to hang onto them for two full years. Remember, even powdered products can transmit bacteria. Avoid using your fingers to apply your makeup, opting instead for a high-quality brush or a clean sponge.
Pencil Eyeliners & Lip Liners
- Expiration: 24 Months
Pencil eyeliners and lip liners are a little different than most other cosmetics because, in order to maximize their effectiveness, you have to constantly sharpen them, removing the old, potentially bacteria-laden parts. So we can use them for a long time. Don’t worry and go ahead to enjoy your penciled makeup for up to two years.
Lipstick & Lip Gloss
- Expiration: 18 to 24 Months
Even though lipstick and lip gloss have greater water or oil content than some other products, they actually have a pretty good lifespan, ranging from 18 to 24 months. This is partly due to the formulation of the products, but also because it’s reasonably easy to cut away or remove dried-out or contaminated parts. But from my own experience, most of your lipstick won’t last until the ending time, because we will always buy new lipsticks and the old lipstick will be forgotten.
- Wash Every 2 to 3 Months
While makeup brushes can last indefinitely, they need to be cared for regularly. A quick rinse-and-dry after every use is recommended, with a full-fledged cleansing with dish soap and hot water suggested every couple of months. This washes away any bacteria, preventing transfer from your makeup to your skin. And if you don’t know how to wash the brushes, here is the advice for you.