makeup items

Can Makeup Expire

It’s hard to resist using up every last bit of makeup or skin care product, especially when you’ve invested a lot of money in it. Makeup does expire, and it may not last as long as you expect. The duration for which makeup remains usable varies depending on the type of cosmetic, storage conditions, and whether it is sealed or opened. Makeup has a shelf life, typically lasting around 2 years after you buy it. However, eye makeup tends to expire sooner, sometimes within just 3 months.

How long does Makeup last unopened

Those expiration dates you notice on makeup or packaging are just guidelines for after the product has been opened. Figuring out the expiration date of sealed, unopened makeup can be quite challenging, as it is not typically indicated on the packaging. In general, if you store your makeup in a cool, dry place and keep it sealed, it should last for 2 to 3 years.

That being said, products that have a creamier texture and contain oils or butters, such as cream concealers or liquid blushes, might spoil sooner since oil has the potential to go bad. A natural makeup formulation without a strong preservative, even sealed, is susceptible to spoilage. Preservatives in makeup naturally degrade over time, even if the product remains unopened. It’s important to avoid keeping any product for more than 3 years to ensure its freshness and effectiveness.

Does the expiration date really matter

Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on makeup

You can find the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on your makeup, which is an open jar with a number and a “M”. This symbol tells you how many months you have from the day you open the product until it expires. Here’s how long makeup typically lasts:

If your makeup has expired, it’s generally a good idea to dispose of it. However, if you happen to use it slightly past its expiration date, you might not experience any health issues but may find that its performance is not up to par.

Certain products, like lip liner or eyeliner pencils, typically have an extended shelf life due to their sharpening capabilities. For your makeup to stay put, it’s important to wash your hands before applying it, keep your makeup brushes clean, and avoid sharing them with others.

what exactly happens to the makeup

Makeup that has expired can become dry or crumbly. It’s important to avoid using water or saliva to moisten it, as this can introduce bacteria. The color pigments might not appear as vibrant, and the powders may seem packed down and difficult to use.

Expired makeup can also begin to collect bacteria, which can result in:

  • I’ve been dealing with acne, rashes, staph, eye infections, and sties lately.
  • It’s crucial to avoid using eye makeup that has expired, as it can potentially harm the sensitive eye area.

Average cosmetic life

Average cosmetic life can be understood by the following table:

table of cosmetic products with their tentative expiry dates

How can you tell if The Makeup has expired

It would be great if all makeup products had an image of an open jar, along with a number and the letter M. The Period After Opening (PAO) symbol shows the number of months until the product expires after opening. Just try to recall the approximate month when you opened it.

Similar to mascara, eye makeup typically has a shorter shelf life and may bear an expiration date of 6M. Concealer, on the other hand, usually lasts around 12 months. The fragrance can actually last for up to 5 years. If there isn’t a symbol, it might have been on the original packaging, which is probably thrown away.

Start by giving the makeup a sniff. If you notice any strange odors, it’s best to throw it away. Check if it has changed color. Just so you know, some concealer products have a tendency to oxidize and take on a slightly orange hue. If the product feels different on your skin, it’s best to discard it.

What About Skin Care Products

Did you know that skin care products have expiration dates just like any other product? It’s important to check for these dates to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the products. Serums and other products packaged in jars or with droppers frequently expose themselves to air and bacteria from our hands. Generally, we recommend discarding these products after approximately 9 months. Typically, items packaged with a pump can endure for approximately a year.

Once the expiration date has passed, the active ingredients may not work as effectively. It’s important to pay close attention to the expiration dates of SPF and sunscreen. If you incorporate your products into your routine, you’ll have no trouble using them up before they expire. If you’re just looking to use your skin care products every now and then, mini travel bottles can be a convenient choice.

When should I dispose off my Makeup

It’s a good idea to dispose of your makeup once it reaches its expiration date. These numbers represent averages, so if you happen to use a concealer a few days after the 12-month mark, it should be perfectly fine.

Certain natural makeup and skin care products without preservatives may have a shorter shelf life, so it’s important to be aware of this. If you happen to come across an eye infection, such as pink eye, or any other skin infection, it’s best to get rid of your makeup right away. Chances are, it may harbor the same bacteria that caused the infection.


Using the same makeup for years is pretty common, especially if it’s something you only use a small amount of each time, like blush or eyeliner. It’s important to pay attention to makeup expiration dates to prevent any potential infections or skin irritation. Products that have expired won’t work as well as they should. If you want to know when it expires, just check for the PAO symbol on the product or its packaging. It’ll show you how many months you’ve got left before it goes bad.


Is it OK to use expired makeup?

Using expired makeup can pose potential risks to your skin. Expired cosmetics might undergo changes in texture, smell, or color, indicating a breakdown in their formulation. This breakdown could harbor harmful bacteria, leading to skin irritations, allergic reactions, or infections. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of your beauty products, it’s advisable to adhere to their expiration dates and replace them when they’ve passed their shelf life.

How do I know when my makeup expired?

Identifying the expiration date of your makeup involves examining various indicators. Most cosmetics come with a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol, represented by an open jar icon followed by a number and the letter ‘M’ (for months). This symbol indicates the recommended duration for safe use after opening. Additionally, check for changes in texture, smell, or color; if your makeup product shows any unusual alterations or has passed the recommended PAO period, it’s advisable to discard it. Another method is to look for the product’s manufacturing date or check its packaging for an expiry date label.

How long can makeup be kept?

The shelf life of makeup varies depending on the type of product. Generally, liquid or cream-based makeup, like foundations or mascaras, can be used for around six months to a year after opening. Powder-based products, such as eyeshadows or blushes, tend to last longer and can be kept for one to two years. However, it’s essential to consider environmental factors, storage conditions, and signs of degradation, such as changes in texture, smell, or color. Following these guidelines and being attentive to the product’s condition can help determine its usability and ensure safe and effective use.

Does unopened makeup expire?

Unopened makeup products generally have a longer shelf life than opened ones. However, while unopened cosmetics might last longer due to minimal exposure to air and contaminants, they can still expire. Factors like the product’s formulation, storage conditions, and environmental influences can contribute to its degradation over time. It’s advisable to check for the manufacturing date or expiration label on the packaging. Even if unopened, if the product has surpassed the recommended shelf life or shows signs of texture changes, color alterations, or an unusual smell, it’s recommended to discard it to ensure safety and efficacy.

How long can makeup last?

The longevity of makeup varies depending on factors like product type and storage. Here’s a general guideline:
Liquid foundation and concealer: 6-12 months.
Powder foundation and products: Up to 2 years.
Mascara: Replace every 3-6 months to prevent bacterial growth.
Eyeliners: Pencil eyeliners can last up to 2 years; liquid or gel eyeliners should be replaced every 3-6 months.
Lipstick and lip gloss: 1-2 years.
Makeup brushes and sponges: With proper cleaning, they can last several years.
Pay attention to changes in color, texture, or smell, and replace products accordingly. Proper storage and hygiene practices can help extend makeup lifespan.

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