When is the last time you truly cleaned out your makeup bag? It’s so important to make sure you’re not using expired makeup because it can lead to infection. Here are some makeup expiration dates you need to know and tips on how to figure out when your makeup has gone bad!

Mascara: 3 to 6 months

  • I chose to list mascara first because in my opinion, it is the absolute most important item you replace on a frequent basis. Mascara is in a dark, wet environment which is perfect for promoting bacteria growth which can ultimately lead to infections such as pink eye if you are not replacing your mascara every 3-6 months. Plus, after this time frame most mascaras start to perform differently and dry out.

Makeup Sponges: 3 months

  • Although I don’t recommend you use those white triangle sponges more than once, reusable beauty sponges such as the Beauty Blender and Real Techniques Beauty Sponge can last you a little longer. The important thing here is to clean them after every use. This will ensure you aren’t making your face break out from old foundation and other products, as well as make them successfully last the 3 months. After 3 months, it’s smart to toss them though, as these moist sponges can start to build bacteria and mold on the inside after that point.

Liquid Eyeliner: 3 to 6 months

  • Liquid eyeliner takes on similar properties as mascara when it comes to the moist, dark environment and how quickly that can become a bad situation.

Natural Cosmetics: 3 to 6 months

  • Natural cosmetics are similar to that of natural food – it’s amazing for your body, but a little tougher on your wallet. If there aren’t any or as many preservatives in your products, just like with food, they will go bad sooner.

Liquid & Cream Foundation: 6 months

  • Things like liquid and cream foundations and other liquid and cream products tend to last around 6 months. After that point, they can start to change in color, consistency, and staying power. They also grow bacteria quicker than their powder counterparts.

Eyeliner: 6 months to 1 year

  • The difference between 6 months and 1 year is clear: if you’re constantly opening and closing and double dipping into a pot of gel eyeliner, it’ll start to dry up and build bacteria around the 6 month mark. However, if you’re using a classic pencil eyeliner, those last a little longer to the 1 year mark.

Powder Products: 1-2 years

  • Powder products includes blush, eyeshadow, pressed powder, and other powder based products. Powder based products aren’t as moist, therefore don’t grow bacteria as rapidly. They are also easy to spray and clean off with something like the BeautySoClean Cosmetic Sanitizer Spray.
  • NOTE: Do NOT clean your powder products with rubbing alcohol. This will dry out the product and lead it to perform of lesser quality.

Nail Polish: 1 to 2 years

  • Nail polish can withstand the test of time, however once it starts aging past 1-2 years, it’ll start to either become too thick or too thin, chip easier, separate in the bottle, and take on a less vivid color.

Lipstick & Lip Gloss: 2 years

  • Lipstick is one of the easiest cosmetics to be able to tell when it’s going bad. If the texture, smell, or color changes, that’s a good sign it’s time to throw it out. However, if your lipsticks aren’t showing these signs, just keep them clean by spraying them with rubbing alcohol and wiping them down from time to time.


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