October 10, 2010

Expired Cosmetics

It's spring cleaning time!  I'm throwing out some lip glosses and eye pencils that have been with me for quite a while.  Why?  Because being the germaphobe that I am, I can't stand the thought of anything that's expired touching my face.  How do you know if it's time to toss out your favorite moisturizer or concealer, since most cosmetics don't have an expiration date on the box or label?

Thanks to an awesome law in Europe, most cosmetics now have the "Period After Opening" label:

For example, the product pictured above shows that I have 24 months to use it and I need to throw it after that time has elapsed.

The reason you want to get rid of these things after a while is the preservatives and fillers in make up can be quite the bacteria breeding ground.  And if your foundation or moisturizer is past the date, it could cause your skin to breakout.  It's even more dangerous when it comes to eyeshadow, mascara and liners because it could lead to eye infection.  Also make sure that the tools you use to apply your make up (including your finger) are always clean!

Still can't find the symbol on your stuff?  Check how it smells and feels.  If it smells funky or the consistency isn't the same as when you first opened the product, then it's highly possible that you should toss that thing away.  
Below is a guide for commonly used products:
  • Mascara - 3 months
  • Liquid Eyeliner - 6 months
  • Foundation - 6 months
  • Eyeshadow - 12 months
  • Lipstick - 24 months
  • Blush - 12 months
  • Concealer - 6 months
  • Lipgloss - 12 months
  • Eye/Lip Pencils - 12 months (but you need to make sure to sharpen these all the time)
What about Mineral Make Up?  Premium quality mineral make up is supposed to be free from these preservatives and fillers.  They say that these usually don't expire because it is composed of inorganic materials.  However, to be on the safe side, toss them out after 18 months.

Next time you go beauty shopping, keep these things in mind.  You also want to think about how much stuff you buy and use all at the same time.  If you're the type to use the stuff daily, go ahead and get that big bottle.  But if you like to mix and match stuff or like to keep it simple, then you might want to consider mini or travel sized products.  It may not look much, but these babies actually go a long way.

So while you do have an intense love affair with that eyeshadow, it's time to think about how long it's been in your make up kit.  Yes, it can be quite hard to let go but keep in mind that with the wide range of cosmetics available today, it's easy to get the exact same one or something close to it.


  1. does this mean that if you dont consume these products within the suggested time frame, you just throw them out even if they have content pa?

  2. Yeah, that's what they recommend because of all the bacteria that accumulates over that period. Others say it can last longer if stored and handled properly.

    It can be such a waste right? I've been changing my product consumption habits by trying not to use the same kind of product all at the same time (like facial sunblock) since one will suffice. From now on, I'm also going to try to resist buying huge bottles!

  3. "Others say it can last longer if stored and handled properly."

    yeah, i have a couple of items I keep in the ref...

    "I'm also going to try to resist buying huge bottles!"

    good pint/tip!


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