Ever wonder how long you should keep your beauty products?
I compiled a general guideline that lists how long you should keep various beauty and skincare products (for specific expiration dates and shelf life, it is best to contact the manufacturer).
Moisturizer: 3-12 months
Moisturizers with natural ingredients, plant extracts, essential oils, and botanicals are best used within 3 months because they will lose their efficacy. Moisturizer can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure your hands are clean before reaching into the jar, or use a q-tip instead.
Quick tip: when you open a new product, write the date on the container with a waterproof marker – that will help you keep track of how long you have had it.
Foundation: 6-18 months
Oil-free foundation tends to have the shortest shelf life because it will dry out quicker than other types, whereas moisturizing, cream, and compact foundation will last longer. Like moisturizer, foundation can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure you don’t contaminate the jar/compact when using your foundation. Liquid foundation that is packaged with a pump dispenser is a great option.
Powder: 2-3 years
Powder may actually last longer, but two years is the longest you should keep it. For pressed powder, you should frequently wash/change the sponge.
Concealer: 12-18 months
You should replace your stick or compact concealers when you notice that they are starting to look dried out. Liquid concealers should be replaced when they start to separate.
Powder Blush & Eye Shadow: 2-3 years
These products can probably last longer than two years, but over time, the product may change color or texture. If you have an eye infection, you may not want to use your favorite eye shadow for a few days/weeks until it has cleared up, because you can actually contaminate your eye shadow with the bacteria.
Cream Blush & Eye Shadow: 12-18 months
Cream blush and eye shadow can dry out over time. Just like the powder eye shadow, you should not use your cream eye shadow if you have an eye infection.
Stick Eye Liner/Lip Liner: 2-3 years
Because you frequently sharpen the product, you don’t have to worry as much about bacteria; however, if you get an eye infection or cold sore, you should replace the product.
Lip Stick: 2 years
You should replace the product when you notice it is starting to look dried out, or if you get a cold sore.
Lip Gloss: 18 months
Since it is a liquid, it will not last as long as lip stick. You should replace the product immediately if you get a cold sore.
Mascara: 3 months
Since mascara is liquid, it is an ideal environment for bacteria. Your mascara can become contaminated if you keep the product longer than 3 months. Your mascara will last longer if you avoid pumping the wand in and out of the container (you are forcing air into the product and your mascara will dry out quicker). Also, avoid wiping the wand on the side of the container, wipe it on a clean tissue instead. If you get/have an eye infection, you should immediately replace the product
Nail Polish: 1 year
Keeping nail polish in the refrigerator can actually make it last longer and keep if from clumping.
If you have any concerns that the products you might be using are expired, it is best to contact the manufacturer or the makeup counter where you purchased it.