We don’t hesitate to toss out items from our refrigerator that have passed their expiration date. We wouldn’t risk getting sick over the growth of bacteria. There is another place that requires our constant attention, though the dates may not be clearly marked. Our makeup bags are full of products that are potential bacteria hosts.
Although it’s understandable to become attached to a particular product, there are dangers in holding on too long, including irritations and infections. So clean out your makeup bag and reward yourself with a few new beauty products!
In order to prolong the life of your makeup, it is best to keep it out of the hot, moist environment of the bathroom. A cool, dry linen closet is the perfect place to house your beauty bag.
To remind yourself when it’s time to toss out old makeup, use permanent marker to label the product with the date you purchased it.
Mascara: 3 Months
The expiration date of mascara is probably the most well known, and given the looming threat of bacteria growth, hopefully the most respected. Toss your tube every 3 months, no exceptions. Each time the wand is used it collects bacteria that is carried back into the tube. Avoid pumping the wand; it dries out the product faster, creating a clumpy, bacteria prone consistency.
Eyeliner: 3 months
Eyeliner, no matter what the consistency, should be tossed every three months. Given the close contact with the eye, there is a higher the risk of contracting an infection. Be sure to sharpen pencil eyeliners each time to limit bacterial buildup and keep lids on tightly.
Eye Shadow: 3-6 Months
Cream eyeshadows that you use your fingers to apply should be tossed out every three months. Other cream and liquid shadows, if used with clean sponges or brushes can last up to six months. Powder eyeshadows can last up to 6 months, but should not be stretched passed that date because of the constant contact with the eye.
Blush: 1-2 Years
Cream blushes need to be thrown away after a year, earlier if you dip your fingers in the jar to apply the product. Powder blushes, if taken care of, can last up to two years.
Concealer: 1-2 Years
Liquid concealers should be tossed annually, while cream sticks and powder concealers can last up to 2 years.
Foundation: 5-10 Months
Liquid foundations can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria due to their water base. If you notice a strange odor or a change in color, toss the bottle immediately to prevent irritation and breakouts.
Powder: 1-2 Years
Due to the dry composition, powder is less prone to bacteria, and lasts longer than liquid products. However, more and more powder cosmetics are created using natural botanical ingredients, which can be prone to grow bacteria at a much faster rate.
Lipstick/Balm: 1-2 Years
Lipstick and balm are oil based, and after a certain amount of time they begin to smell of rotting oil. If you notice oil droplets accumulating on the surface or the pigment does not blend easily, it’s time to throw it out.
Nail Polish: 1-2 Years
Once nail polish has been opened, it can last up to two years. The color begins to alter and the consistency becomes gooey, signaling that it’s time to toss the bottle.
Brushes should be washed with a mild shampoo every couple of weeks and stored upright, allowing them to breathe. Sponges should be thrown out after two uses, with the exception of high quality sponges that specify they can be cleaned.
Top photo by Ross Hailey, middle and bottom photo by C.W. Griffin| MCT
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