Hey All, Here is my new article on The Shelf Life of Makeup.
We all have them. Tubes of mascara that we bought — sometime last year? Two years ago? Lipstick that’s starting to dust. Eye shadow that isn’t even made in that shade anymore. It’s obviously time to clean them out. But if your makeup hasn’t changed shade or doesn’t have a funny smell, how do you know if it’s still good? When is it time to replace it? To help ensure that your makeup stays fresh and doesn’t develop harmful bacteria, be sure to follow these simple guidelines for when to replace your makeup:
Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all makeup products: About 3 months. Mascara has to be replaced more often because the wand picks up bacteria from the eye, which is then inserted back into the tube, whose dark and moist conditions are perfect for producing more bacteria. Using mascara that is beyond its due date increases your chances of getting infections in your eye.
Lipsticks and Liners
Eyeliners, lip liners and lipsticks can last one to two years, depending on the type and brand. If you notice that they are getting clumpy, have changed color, or have developed an odor, replace them sooner.
Foundation and Concealer
These can last up to a year if kept clean. Reduce your chances of spreading bacteria from your hands by applying them with a clean sponge. Don’t add water to foundations that have begun to congeal as water introduces bacteria into the makeup.
Powders, Blushes, Eye Shadows
These can last up to two or three years as they typically stay clean and dry. If you use your eye shadow as an eyeliner by using a damp brush to apply it (a tip used by many professionals), you will shorten its shelf life.
As long as it doesn’t start to dry up, nail polish can last as long as four years. If your polish develops a bad odor, it’s time to toss it.
Brushes should be cleaned regularly. Use a brush cleaner or a mild detergent to clean them every two or three months. Not only will this keep your brushes clean of bacteria, it will also reduce the amount of makeup residue on them, which can clog your pores and interrupt the even application of your makeup.
These have to be cleaned more often: Wash them once a week, and then get rid of them after a month. Sponges soak up water and bacteria, and they cannot be properly cleaned after too many uses.
Remember: These are just guidelines. You may find that you have to replace your makeup more often or clean your brushes more frequently. Just be sure that you do replace them to keep your makeup — and your skin — clean and fresh.
Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching gerontology nursing programs as well as online nursing informatics programs.