Does Your Makeup Have A Shelf Life?

Despite how much you love that red lipstick, eyeliner or the makeup you just can’t seem to part with, makeup products can be breeding grounds for bacteria, so it’s important to have a clear out every now and then.


Shelf Life: One Month
Blending sponges should ideally be replaced every month and washed with cleanser after every use. It is important to replace these, and the signs you need to throw it away can include any deformities on the sponge and unexplained breakouts on the skin.


Shelf Life: Four To Six Months
Mascara is the makeup item you should be most vigilant about, as it comes into contact with your eyes. As the brush is taken out, used, and put back into the tube, it brings with it any bacteria it has collected along the way. This can cause redness, itchiness and even conjunctivitis and styes. Most mascaras are labelled with a shelf life of four to six months, so stick to this and immediately throw away a mascara if it has dried out or has a different texture, colour or scent.


Shelf Life: Six Months
Creamy makeup products will only last around six months as they provide moisture for bacteria to thrive on. Keep an eye on creamy makeup products for mould, smell or separation, and throw away if they look a little funny.


Shelf Life: Six Months To A Year
Liquid or pencil, eyeliner should be replaced around every six months; pencil liners can last a little longer but the cap should always be kept tightly closed. However, if you’ve had an eye infection, throw away any liners you may have used, as they could increase the risk of developing another infection.


Shelf Life: One Year
With the exception of powder makeup formulas, all foundations are water-based, which means bacteria will likely thrive after a while. Unopened, foundation can last for a couple of years, but once the seal is broken, it’s best to replace after six to 12 months. Keep foundations out of moist environments, such as your bathroom, and away from heat, as high temperatures can encourage the growth of bacteria.


Shelf Life: One Year
In a similar way to mascara, pumping the wand in the tube can result in a thoroughly unhygienic lip gloss. If gloss is discoloured, or different in texture and thickness, it’s probably best to throw it away.


Shelf Life: One Year
While nail polish won’t go bad from bacteria, over time, the lacquer will dry out and become thick and clumpy. To lengthen the life of your polish, always keep the lid securely fastened.


Shelf Life: 12 To 18 Months
Concealer is meant to cover blemishes, not cause them, which is what can happen if you use a concealer that is too old. If your concealer dries out, changes in texture, becomes cakey, lumpy or smells different, throw it out immediately.


Shelf Life: Two Years
Typically the product with the most staying power in your makeup bag, the majority of face powders will most likely be fine even after they reach their expiration date. Minimise bacterial contamination by lightly cleaning your compacts regularly and avoid leaving the product exposed to air. Throw away makeup powders with broken lids and check for mould and any unusual smells. The same goes for eye-shadow and other powder-based makeup, like blushers, too.


Shelf Life: Two Years
Look after your lipsticks well and they can last up to two years. It’s important to remember to never leave them without a lid on and clean with a wipe occasionally to remove the top layer of bacteria.

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