Most cosmetics manufacturers don’t have to list expiration dates on packaging, so sometimes you may not be sure whether a product has gone bad or not.
Here are the freshness periods of seven of your favorite beauty products.
Mascara has a shelf-life of two or three months once opened. If it clumps or smells strange, toss it out. And avoid sharing mascara with others; you'll spread germs. If you must share, use disposable applicators and don’t double-dip.
2. Liquid concealer and foundation
Liquid concealer and foundation
3. Lipstick and lip gloss
Lipstick lasts up to two years and lip gloss one. Lipstick that’s dry and lip gloss that’s extra sticky need to be tossed out.
4. Nail polish
Nail polish lasts one to two years. But if it’s extra goopy or has separated into layers and won’t blend after shaking, replace it. Use a nail polish thinner to extend its shelf life.
5. Powder, eyeshadow, and blush
All three last about two years. Expired powders tend to be drier and flakier than fresh ones. Invest in cosmetic sanitizer and brush shampoo: These can help prevent breakouts and bacteria.
Perfumes, colognes, eau de toilette — they last eight to ten years. Perfume whose odor has changed or whose color is lighter has expired. Store your fragrances in cool, dark places to make them last longer; bright lights tend to oxidize them, giving them a musty smell.
Lotions usually last two years. A change in color or scent means your lotion has probably expired. Go for
Freshen up with fresh makeup
Unlike packaged foods and drinks, cosmetics packaging doesn't feature a "sell by" date. Some manufacturers do include what's known as a PAO symbol. "PAO" stands for "period after opening," and the symbol contains a specific number of months.
Cosmetics with no PAO symbol can be harder to judge. But if you just stick to some simple guidelines and know the signs of staleness to look for, your own look will always stay fresh!
- "Makeup 101: How Long Your Fave Products Really Last!," Seventeen, December 12, 2012.
- "Save or Toss? The Truth About Makeup Expiration Dates," Byrdie, December 29, 2016.
- "The Complete Guide to Makeup Expiration Dates You REALLY Need to Know," Cosmopolitan, December 8, 2015.
- "The Makeup Expiration Dates You Need To Know," The Huffington Post, August 8, 2014.