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When Should You Throw Out Your Makeup?

Updated on June 19, 2013
When Should You Throw Out Your Makeup?
When Should You Throw Out Your Makeup? | Source

Shelf Life of Makeup ~

As much as we hate throwing out old makeup, there comes a point when we must say Adios, Bon Voyage or Nice knowing you to our beloved cosmetics.

How many of you have a pile of makeup you use now and again or for whenever blue eyeshadow makes a comeback as the must have color trend?

I have been guilty of not throwing out certain items, admittedly more out of the fact I had forgotten about them as I would not regularly use them.

However, cosmetics and makeup do have a shelf life or use within date and they should be followed.

Apart from knowing when you should throw out your cosmetics, there are some other vital things you should do when storing and applying makeup and skin care products.

Here are the reasons not to take a risk with makeup and skin care product:

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

extremely contagious eye infection that you could end up with.
extremely contagious eye infection that you could end up with. | Source

Why Take a Risk?

  • Eye Infections
  • Transferring Bacteria
  • Skin Irritations
  • Smelly Products
  • Pigments Change
  • Lotions and Creams May Separate

Moisturize Safely

do not stick your fingers into your jar of face cream, it spreads bacteria and you may end up with a skin irritation.
do not stick your fingers into your jar of face cream, it spreads bacteria and you may end up with a skin irritation. | Source

Face creams –

1 year maximum I would recommend and more likely 6-9 months if your face moisturizer is in a jar as this is a breeding ground for bacteria. If you have a pump style face cream, 12 months is fine.

If you have alpha- hydoxy creams make sure to keep the jars tightly sealed as they may get more concentrated and cause skin irritations.

If you would like to try making your own moisturizer, Olive Oil is easy and super beneficial to the skin.

Sunscreen -

Up to 1 year after opening unless it separates, becomes discolored or smells.

Applying Foundation

keep an eye out for any strange smell or pigment change with foundation.
keep an eye out for any strange smell or pigment change with foundation. | Source

excellent for all creams, foundations and lip balms in a jar

Foundation –

If your foundation is in a jar, bottle or compact you should get 6-8 months out of depending on how often you use, how you apply it and how you store it.

If you tend to apply with fingers, you should not stick fingers in the container, particularly if you are prone to breakouts or spots.

For foundations to be applied hygienically, use a plastic applicator or a Q-tip to take a small amount of product and put it on the back of your clean hand.

Then apply with your fingers, makeup sponge or foundation brush. Think of your hand as a palette in which to mix and add your makeup from. Pump style foundations will last a bit longer, approximately 8 months or so.

Apply some common sense to foundations for indications such as color separation, fading of foundation and a rancid smell. Storage is important to prolong longevity so make sure all lids are tightly closed and do not have in direct sunlight

Loose Face Powder

loose and compact powder tends to be used quickly.
loose and compact powder tends to be used quickly. | Source

Face Powder –

Face Powder will last a year when used correctly.

Watch out for any shiny build up on the powder surface (oil from your foundation or moisturizer are the lightly culprits), skin irritations or any strange smell and toss it if you do.

Loose or compact styles should be applied lightly with a powder puff, sponge or even a piece of cotton wool before using a powder brush.

Loose powder may be sprinkled onto the back of the hand and then applied with a powder puff. Most people will use up a powder within a year (I certainly do).

A Touch of Rouge

Rouge or blusher was used as far back as the Egyptians and often used on the lips.
Rouge or blusher was used as far back as the Egyptians and often used on the lips. | Source

Powder Blush & Bronzer –

These two makeup products will last up to 4 years if stored and applied correctly.

Many women tend to change their blush with the seasons or only apply bronzer in the summer months, hence we do not use as often as other makeup items.

Always wash makeup brushes after use with a homemade brush cleanser to keep both brushes and product hygienically clean.

This in turn extends the shelf life of both and common sense again, if it does not look or smell right, throw it out.

If you have some bits of blush left in compacts that look and smell perfect, why not recycle them and make into a layered lip gloss which is easy, quick and fun for not just you but a great makeup craft for teens.

Mascara

the one product you do not share with anyone. The risk of an eye infection is too high.
the one product you do not share with anyone. The risk of an eye infection is too high. | Source

Mascara –

Mascara is one of my top “NEVER LEND” makeup products.

One of the biggest issues with this is eye infections, even between your own eyes.

It is so easy to lend your friend your mascara on a night out and not even think about it but it is highly risky and unhygienic.

Disposable mascara wands are great to keep a supply of. As a rule 3 months is the guideline for these products to get binned, up to 6 months maximum.

If it is not clumpy, has a smell or dried up you should get the 6 months before tossing.

Remember, if you get an eye infection it is not just your mascara that needs binning but ALL YOUR EYE MAKEUP PRODUCTS.

Eyeshadow Palette

you tend to use the same colors consistently in eyeshadow sets. remember to clean around the colors after using to avoid contaminating other shades.
you tend to use the same colors consistently in eyeshadow sets. remember to clean around the colors after using to avoid contaminating other shades. | Source

EyeShadows –

Eyeshadows will last a good 4 years if applied correctly and your eyeshadow brushes are kept clean.

As for all eye makeup products, if you discover an infection then unfortunately it all needs to get dumped.

This is why applying some good makeup application tips, storage ideas and common sense is vital.

It will end up saving you a bundle of your hard earned cash needed to replace your eye makeup.

Eyeliners –

Liquid eyeliner should be treated the same as mascara, NEVER LENT and tossed out after 3-6 months. I use mine up to 6 months and have had no problems.

After you have finished applying, give a quick wipe of the container to make sure it is clean and no build up of eyeliner is present.

Pencil eyeliner will last longer, particularly if you sharpen it before you apply it. I keep mine in the fridge, particularly in summer.

Expect to get at least 2 years out of your pencils unless you get an eye infection and then all eye makeup needs to be thrown out to prevent cross contamination and further eye problems.

Lipstick No No

never apply lipstick straight from the tube to the lips it is unhygienic, could break your lippy and is wasteful.
never apply lipstick straight from the tube to the lips it is unhygienic, could break your lippy and is wasteful. | Source

Lipstick/Lip gloss/Lip Balm –

Lippy will last up to 2 years, providing it has been used hygienically and stored appropriately.

The best way of applying all lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm is with a lip brush. Not only is it more hygienic but you will use less product applying it in this way and it will last longer on the lips.

Always give the lip gloss and lip balm containers a wipe after use to remove any excess stain and make sure the lids are secured tightly. Lipsticks should always be screwed down before lid goes on.

An easy and common mistake is to forget and you end up slicing off part of the lipstick.

If this happens, don’t automatically throw it out but have a few small containers (contact lens cases are ideal) handy and carefully transfer your lippy.

Check out the DIY blinged contact lens cases by my good friend Jamie Brock for seriously funky holders you can make at home!

Nail Polish

store your nail polishes upright and out of direct sunlight.
store your nail polishes upright and out of direct sunlight. | Source

Nail Polish –

If you store it away from direct sunlight (a dressing table drawer is ideal) you should expect to get a year or maybe longer out of your nail polishes.

Check them after 9 months for separation, color fading or thickening. Nail polish thinners are available to make application easier and smoother.

Never use with any fungal nail infections as this will only transfer the contagious bacteria and products should be thrown away immediately.

A good storage idea I use is to recycle a box or container (I use an old Nokia phone box) and use to store all your nail polishes, nail files, buffers, clippers and so on.

Care for Your Makeup Brushes

look after your brushes and keep them in a brush holder or in a drawer. This prevents dust particles settling on the hairs and getting transferred to your face.
look after your brushes and keep them in a brush holder or in a drawer. This prevents dust particles settling on the hairs and getting transferred to your face. | Source

Makeup Brushes –

Makeup brushes will last for years when looked after properly.

An essential part of a good makeup application, you do not need to have every brush out there but a handful of good brushes will pay you and your products back in the long term.

The first “investment” makeup brush I bought as a Beauty Therapist was in 1984 and cost £3. That brush was still going strong 20 years later and being regularly used.

Make sure to regularly clean the brushes you are using constantly.

A homemade makeup brush cleanser is easy to make, gentle and much cheaper than store bought.

Chanel No.5

keep your favorite perfumes out of sunlight, preferably in their original box to avoid spoiling. This will extend their shelf life.
keep your favorite perfumes out of sunlight, preferably in their original box to avoid spoiling. This will extend their shelf life. | Source

Fragrance -

2 years if kept away from direct sunlight, preferably in the original packaging.

Each time you take a spray of perfume, the more air is let in and oxidation will occur, changing the fragrance slightly.

It is still perfectly fine to use up to 2 years and maybe longer.

Use some common sense, if it has gone off you will get a rancid smell, so it is time to wave bye-bye to your beloved perfume.

If you use it frequently, chances are you will go throw it out within this time frame anyway.

How to make your perfume last longer is worth checking out for lots of ways you can extend your fragrance wearing.

Are you a makeup hoarder?

See results

DIY Beauty –

If you have decided to make your own natural skin care and makeup products, remember the shelf life for many will be considerably less due to them being preservative free.

Many are best to make as needed or are stored in the fridge.

Always give regular “sniff” tests as they will have a tendency to go rancid quicker.

Author Info -

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound -

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

When Should You Throw Out Your Makeup? Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I threw mine out about ten years ago. It just wasn't giving me that youthful look that I wanted so badly. :)

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      All I just know is that if my makeup smells really funky, that's the time I should throw it away. Thanks for the detailed information, great job.

      Up, useful and shared. :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      LOL, I know the feeling!! You are such a riot, always bringing a smile to my face. Thanks so much for having a read even though you have done away with your cosmetics, you are better and more youthful without them (maybe a slick of lip gloss for that special "night in" . . .No? I tried!! )

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vibesites,

      Glad you enjoyed and hopefully picked up some pointers along the way. Smells are a sure sign it's time to say cheerio to the makeup. Thanks for the votes and shares, much appreciated!!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Hahaha...I enjoyed the comment of Billy, lol...I do enjoyed reading this hub, too. I find this hub very useful. I should check my make ups which I seldom use after I stopped working at a spa. I´m sure I have to throw some of them. Thanks for SHARING, Susie. Have a great day!

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 4 years ago from Philippines

      I consumed my make up right away... I just have a pressed powder, a foundation, eyeliner, lipsticks, and mascara.... I use those often so all of them were consumed before reaching expiry date LOL... I am very particular with cosmetic scent so regardless of years I immediately throw it away if it already smells different. Nice one Thelma how creative

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      This is a very important hub. Most women hold on to their make-up for way too long. I have to see I never realized that perfume had a shelf life.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and useful;thanks for sharing.

      Eddy.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Suzie....LOL...that bill! LOL. This is seriously useful information....especially in terms of a reminder or a heads-up!" Would love to stay and chat, but I have a boat load of cosmetics to dump!....UP+++

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Thelma,

      Don't you just love BB!! Full of humor, you gotta have a sense of humor in life, that's for sure! So glad you enjoyed this as it is something many of us forget about,me included who should know better! LOL

      Appreciate your feedback and support as always!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Maria,

      Welcome and thank you very much for visiting and commenting. You seem to be following good sensible ways with your cosmetics so good for you!! Appreciate your thoughts and input, so good to receive!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi breakfastpop,

      Lovely to see you back for more! Glad you enjoyed this advice and yes perfume needs to be stored and kept out of sunlight properly or it will tend to fade and loose it's true scent. Thanks for stopping by!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Eddy,

      Appreciate your visit, votes and shares, always delighted to see my Welsh buddy!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Paula,

      Hope the skip didn't cost a fortune for hiring for the makeup dumping!! LOL

      What is Sir B like eh?? He cracks me up every hub I do I think "No doubt he will have a gem for this" and he never fails to make me laugh!! Appreciate your wit and humor, thoughts and votes . . . . hope the ceremonial "bon voyage" to the makeup collection was not too painful!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I learned the hard way that make up had to be thrown out after I had an eye infection. Wonderful hub that help women avoid these types of infections.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi teaches,

      Sorry to hear you fell victim to an eye infection, apart from sore and irritating it can prove costly having to replace makeup! Thanks so much for your input and advice as always!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      If you have not already realized, I am trying to catch up reviewing all of my daily notifications hence the numerous comments on your hubs. This is definitely one for me. I will keep makeup for years. I think I kept my high school prom blush all through college. Yeccchhh. For other things like perfume and creams, I wait until they smell funny and then toss. I am terrible about this. Great hints here. Up shared and pinned.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I so seldom wear makeup that I think it grows in my closet. Unlike Bill, I don't throw it out. Obviously you have sounded the alarm and it is time to throw it out and either stop completely or get some new stuff. I'm always looking for that miracle cream but haven't found it yet!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan,

      Your so good to drop in! Glad you found these hints and tips useful. We have all been guilty of keeping makeup too long. When I was working freelance i had so much makeup in various "tool boxes" it was hard to be ruthless at times. Many thanks for all the votes, share and pin, much appreciated it!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      Apologies I have been slow over to you of late! I think there is only 1 Bill out there! LOL Glad you enjoyed this and we all wish we could find that wonder cream that does everything!! Homemade products are the way to go!! Thanks for all the votes of confidence my friend!!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Not to worry Suzie, I know you're there and busy.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thanks Mary, just popped over and read your great Beauty hub!!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I needed to read this one! I guess you could say I'm kind of a make-up hoarder.. I'm TERRIBLE at holding on to old make-up and I don't even wear it much anymore. I think have things in my make-up case from like 5 years ago. Time to go through it and get all that old stuff out! Sad thing is I never even used a lot of it but couldn't bare to part with it because of the "what ifs" Great hub.. very useful! Thanks for sharing and thank you for the mention :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Jamie,

      My pleasure, I will rave about your work as it is so fabulicious! Thanks for having a read here, I laughed at the "what ifs" as I say that soooo much with makeup too - hate throwing it out as memories often are attached in silly ways! Appreciate your honesty and lovely comments as always, have a great weekend :-)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Really good information here as many of us tend to keep our makeup long after we should. Great job and voting up and pinning. I guess I better go clean out my makeup drawer.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi carol,

      Many thanks for dropping in here! Keeping makeup over expiry dates can lead to skin problems so it is worth using them up or throwing out unfortunately!! Eye products particularly need to be thrown and never ever lent to anyone!!

      Cheers for the votes and pin, its much appreciated Carol!!!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      I've noticed that it's very hard to find expiry date on almost all cosmetic products (if they have it at all), or they usually have the date on the packaging and I throw that right away. Always wondered about how long I could use eye shadows; the info in this hub is good news as I don't put makeup too often and it would be a pity to throw them out and spend so much money on something you don't really use much! Voted up and shared :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vox vocis,

      many thanks for dropping in on this one. Most skin care has 12m, 18m or 24m indicating months once opened. mascara should have it also and it generally has 6m on it. Just be careful with the eye makeup, if you get or have an eye infection it all has to go in the bin and is so costly or can be to replace. many thanks for votes and shares!!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Most of the men like women without makeup, a real beauty....

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi jainismus,

      Thanks, It is very true that most men seem to like the natural no makeup look or certainly a little makeup rather than overdone.

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