How to Understand That Your Makeup Expired?

How to Understand That Your Makeup Expired?

25.07.2022 Off By manager_1

women's assorted cosmetics

We understand how much you love that red lipstick. Or an eyeliner that has been shaved to a nub. You have to accept that some of your most beloved beauty products could eventually be breeding grounds for bacteria.

How can you tell if your makeup is expired? Preservatives are a major factor in determining the product’s longevity. Krupa Koestline, cosmetic chemist, says that preservatives are essential to ensure safe product use. A broad-spectrum preservative acts against yeast and bacteria, making it a good choice.

We can’t expect to identify preservatives because most people aren’t cosmetic chemists. What’s the first thing you should do? You should check for expiration dates on labels. Some products, but not all, include this. A symbol that indicates the PAO (period after opening) is more common. \

Athena Teschendorf is the SOS Beauty’s development and regulatory affairs manager. “PAO, which is indicated by an open-jar icon, was first adopted by the EU Commission in 2003. It quickly became best practice across the cosmetic industry.” It is a way to indicate how long a product can be used without preservation, chemical, or physical degradation. This could lead to micro-organism infection, decreased efficacy, harm, or even death to the consumer.

Experts say that even if the expiration date and PAO symbol are not available or the product appears fine, there are some key indicators you can use to determine if the product is still safe, useful, and safe. Teschendorf states that if a product’s appearance, texture, color or smell changes noticeably, it should be thrown away.

Different makeup products can age differently like different hair products. We spoke with experts to find out how to tell the difference. Find out how to tell when your favorite makeup products are ready to go. The good news is that you can still use your old makeup.


Mascara is the most important makeup product to be aware of: When the brush is removed, used, and then put back in its tube, any bacteria collected along the path is brought with it, says Jim Hammer, cosmetic chemist. Teschendorf agrees, telling that “this product form has one the shortest PAOs because it is high potential to get into the eyes and cause serious infections.” Lingering bacteria can cause irritation, redness, and even pinkeye. To be safe, switch mascara every three months. Do not use the same mascara for more than six months.

Pati Dubroff, a makeup artist, will throw out her mascara sooner if she notices a particular smell. “It will also have an distinct gasoline-like scent once it has gone bad.” Any eye makeup that has been contaminated should be thrown out immediately if you experience any adverse symptoms. If your eyes persist in irritation after a few days, consult an eye doctor.


Foundations are water-based with the exception of powder formulas. This means that bacteria loves them. Foundation can be kept unopened for up to two years. However, once the seal has broken Hammer recommends that it should be replaced after six to twelve months. Foundations should be kept out of damp areas (such as the bathroom) and away heat. High temperatures can encourage the growth and spoiling of bugs. This is true for all beauty products.

A change in color or smell can indicate that the formula has been discontinued. Applying it could cause skin irritations or breakouts. Separation is another sign that a liquid foundation or cream foundation (or concealer, or blush) has reached its end of life. Koestline says separation can be described as an oil layer on top, color that is not evenly distributed throughout the product or a water layer on the bottom. “Separation can reduce the effectiveness of the preservative system and make the product more susceptible to contamination.”


It is supposed to cover any blemishes and not cause them. This can happen if the concealer is too old. Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist, told us that you will know if it’s gone bad when the color starts to shift. A concealer should be thrown out as soon as it is liquid. Concealer in stick and powder form can last up to 2 years. Liquids should be thrown out after 1 year.


Powders are both pressed and loose. They are the Energizer Bunny for makeup. They can last up to two years. Wilson told Allure that some powders may contain very little water from botanical extracts. This means there is a risk of the powder growing bacteria in your bathroom.


Powder blush follows the same rules as face powder. Teschendorf states that cream blush should be replaced every year “since the formula environment allows bacteria to thrive and the application is often done with the fingertips.”

To extend the life of blushes, make sure to clean them regularly. Also, keep the color in a dry, dark place to prevent bacterial growth. Dubroff explains that moisture can also come from residues of your foundation or face cream. “If you apply blush over these products, oils cling on to the bristles and transfer onto the blush.” On powder formulas, this will cause a grayish film to form or a layer of chalky white on top of creams. This can be prevented by waiting a few minutes after applying foundation and moisturizer before you apply blush. Also, you can wipe away any excess oil from your skin before applying blush.

Powders and creams can also be a sign that it’s time for tossing. If the formula is so stiff it can’t be lifted from the compact, it’s probably time to get a new one.

Eye Shadow

Eye-enhancing shadows? Yes, please. Eye-irritating ones? No, thanks. Hammer says that powder shadows should be replaced every six to nine month to prevent your eyes from becoming reddened or itchy. Although they may look similar to other powders in their formulation, they can be exposed to a mucous membrane and could transmit bacteria to the eyes.

Cream-based shadows are more likely to harbor bacteria than powders. Wash your hands after applying shadows with your fingers. Also, be aware of color switches and off-putting smells.


These eye definers, whether liquid or pencil, should be changed approximately every three months. Hammer warns that they can pick up bacteria from the eyes and return it to the eye “without any visible signs or contamination”. You may experience redness, itching, or even conjunctivitis if you have used a dingy liners.

Pencils can last longer than liquid liners, if you are consistent about sharpening them. However, you will know when a white film forms on the tip and cannot be removed, according to Dubroff.

Lipstick and Lip Gloss

Hammer says that while a bad color can ruin your mood, the chances of a lipstick or lip gloss formula spoiling (or growing bacteria in) are low because they don’t contain any water. He recommends that you replace lip products every year if they are regularly exposed to your mouth or have recently become ill. Teschendorf agreed, saying that traditional anhydrous lipsticks can last longer because their top surface can be cleaned between uses. However, a year is a good rule.

Dubroff says that lipsticks and glosses can smell like old cooking oil as they contain oily ingredients. Dubroff says that lipsticks will go bad when they become hard or you have trouble spreading the pigment. Lip glosses can also feel streaky and globby when you apply them when it isn’t “good”.

Nail Polish

This is the Twinkie of beauty: It won’t get contaminated by bacteria. Teschendorf says that it is unlikely that nail polishes will go “bad” due to microbial contamination. This is because of the harsh living conditions caused by solvents. The lacquer will eventually dry out, and then become thicker and more clumpy. The pigments will settle at the bottom of your bottle. It’s time to shake it. If the formula is not separated, it’s over.


Good brushes can last years if they are properly stored and cleaned. But if the bristles begin to fall out or become frayed, it is time to replace them. Dubroff recommends wiping the bristles with a towel or washcloth after each use and then giving them a thorough clean every two weeks using a gentle shampoo. Propped up in a glass is the best way to keep them. This allows them to air out and doesn’t cause any damage.

After two uses, disposable makeup sponges should not be used again. Dubroff states that only high-quality sponges come with a cleanser such as the Beautyblender. These clean well. She explains that old sponges can trap too much makeup and are also “little bacteria pits” when left alone.