When to Toss Old Makeup and Replace

When to Toss Old Makeup and Replace
Cosmetics need to be regularly replaced if you intend to stay safe.


This current year is about to end with a new one soon to start.  This is the perfect time to clean your cosmetics bag and toss out the old makeup products and make way for the new.  After all, you don’t want to risk your beauty to cosmetics with preservatives that might have started to break down or already deteriorated.

Since cosmetic manufacturers aren’t required by law to include expiration dates, you probably won’t find a date on most of those products.  A good idea is to jot down the date that you opened it and record that information in a small notebook with all your other makeup and skin care products to keep track of their expected shelf life.

Another thought is to use an indelible marker to date it directly on the product, provided you have enough room to write. Regardless of the method you choose, this extra step will be very useful later when you need to remember how long you used the product to best judge whether to keep it.

Eye makeup that goes closest to the eye like mascara and eyeliners presents the most old makeup risk. Therefore, you should replace them every three months because once opened, bacteria start growing that can lead to an eye infection.  You may want to toss sooner if you like to share those cosmetics with your friends or are in the habit of pumping your wand in and out of the tube.

Liquid and creamy forms of cosmetics and skin care basically are good for about a year but lipsticks can last even longer–closer to two years.  However, if you see the product separating, notice an unusual smell, or the color changes somewhat, clumping, settling at the bottom, you need to pitch this old makeup out.  Throw out your lipstick once it becomes dry or tastes odd.

Just remember, you introduce fresh bacteria with every application of those types of foundations, cream eye shadows and blushes, concealers, lipsticks, moisturizers, and eye creams simply by touching them.

Pump dispensed products are a bit more sanitary, but they do not end the contamination threat since every pump draws in air, which also has particles of dust, mold, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander if you have a pet.

Lip glosses are trickier business since they are a breeding ground for bacteria to better incubate due to the sponge.  Play it safe and toss glosses after a year is the general rule. Replace sooner if you happen to notice the formula becoming excessively stickier than it was.

Nail polish generally has a shelf life of up to two years.  Since quite a few companies have been coming out with non-toxic formulas, those varieties tend to expire sooner so be vigilant if that consistency changes.  A clue to look for is the need to continually shake the bottle to try to get the color to blend.  This is a sign to give up and toss that polish.

Powder cosmetics like your blushes and eye shadows normally last at least two years. Then again, if you apply your eye shadow by wetting your brush first, the product can go bad sooner.  A good way to tell if those powders are contaminated is by examining the texture.  If it looks overly dry than you remember, it’s likely the product should be disposed of.

You can find many different thoughts on how long a typical fragrance can last.  Some believe a fragrance should be good for about eight years, if properly stored in a dry, cool, place away from the sunlight.  On the other hand, there are others who believe that two to three years is a more accurate answer.  On a personal note, I have some vintage perfumes that smell divine and have kept their staying power.  So, I truly do not believe anyone really knows for sure.

Nonetheless, a good fragrance indicator is the color of the liquid itself.  If the color has lightened considerably, in all probability, the fragrance went bad.  Another way to tell if your fragrance is still good is by testing how long it lasts.  A fragrance that needs to be thrown away is one that suddenly fades too quickly unlike the strength of what it smelled like when it was new.

The information that I have given you here about when to toss old makeup and replace is a place to start.  Please keep in mind that how you store your makeup and skin care, such as too close to the heat or a window where sunlight can hit them, can further reduce their shelf life just as keeping products in a bathroom also can.  Please do keep all of the above in mind.




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