When To Throw Out Your Makeup: The Ultimate Guide for Fresh and Safe Beauty

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By Asma Begum

Throw out your makeup when it starts to separate, thicken, or develop an unpleasant smell. Keeping old makeup can harbor germs and degrade the quality of the product.

The Importance Of Throwing Out Expired Makeup

When it comes to our makeup collection, we often hold on to our favorite products for as long as possible. However, using expired makeup can pose serious health risks. It’s important to know when to throw out expired makeup to protect our skin and overall well-being.

Health Risks Of Expired Makeup

Expired makeup can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and other harmful microbes. This can lead to skin infections, breakouts, and irritation. Additionally, expired makeup can also contain harmful chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and long-term health issues.

When To Throw Out Your Makeup
When To Throw Out Your Makeup


Signs Of Expired Makeup

Knowing the signs of expired makeup is essential to maintain a healthy beauty routine. Here are some indicators that your makeup may have reached its expiration date:

  • Change in texture or consistency
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Separation of product
  • Discoloration
  • Presence of mold or mildew

By paying attention to these signs, you can ensure that you’re not applying expired makeup on your skin, reducing the risk of infections and other skin issues.

Ultimately, the importance of throwing out expired makeup cannot be overstated. Your health and well-being should always be a top priority, and using fresh, safe products is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Don’t hesitate to dispose of any makeup that has exceeded its shelf life, and make it a regular habit to inspect your products for any signs of expiration. Your skin will thank you!

Specific Makeup Products And Their Expiry Periods

When it comes to makeup, it’s essential to know when to throw out certain products. Using expired makeup can lead to skin irritations, breakouts, and even eye infections. To ensure you’re using your makeup safely, here are the recommended expiry periods for different makeup products:

Mascara And Eyeliner

Mascara and eyeliner are products that come into direct contact with your eyes. Using expired or old mascara and eyeliner can put you at risk of eye infections. It is recommended to replace mascara every three months and eyeliner every three to six months. Pencil eyeliners tend to last longer than liquid ones but should still be replaced regularly to maintain eye health.

Foundation And Face Powders

Your foundation and face powders lay the base for your makeup look. These products can accumulate bacteria over time, leading to skin irritations and breakouts. To ensure a clear and flawless complexion, it is advisable to replace your foundation and face powders every two years. However, if you notice any changes in texture, color, or scent, it’s time to toss them out sooner.

Lipsticks And Lip Gloss

Lip products, such as lipsticks and lip gloss, can also harbor bacteria and lose their quality over time. It is recommended to replace your lipsticks every year to maintain their freshness and effectiveness. If you notice any changes in smell, texture, or color, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to say goodbye to your favorite lip shades.

Eye Shadows And Blush

Eye shadows and blush are products that add color and dimension to your makeup look. These powdered products generally have a longer shelf life. However, it’s still important to keep an eye on their condition. If you notice any changes in texture, pigment, or a strange scent, it’s time to part ways with your beloved eye shadows and blushes. As a general guideline, it’s advisable to replace them every two years to ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential skin reactions.

Remember, using expired makeup not only compromises its effectiveness but also poses potential risks to your skin and eyes. Regularly check the expiry dates of your makeup products and pay attention to any changes in texture, color, or scent. By practicing good makeup hygiene and knowing when to throw out your makeup, you can keep your skin healthy and maintain a flawless makeup application.

Guidelines For Proper Makeup Storage And Maintenance

Proper storage and maintenance are crucial for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of your makeup products. By following the right guidelines, you can prolong the shelf life of your cosmetics and prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. Let’s delve into the essential practices for storing and maintaining your makeup.

When To Throw Out Your Makeup
When To Throw Out Your Makeup

Storing Makeup In Ideal Conditions

Storing your makeup in optimal conditions can significantly extend its lifespan. To preserve the quality of your products, it’s essential to keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture. Consider investing in a dedicated makeup organizer with compartments to prevent products from coming into contact with one another.

Furthermore, maintaining a consistent temperature is key to preserving the integrity of your cosmetics. Store your makeup in a cool, dry place, and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, as this can lead to product deterioration.

Hygiene Practices For Makeup Application

Practicing good hygiene when applying makeup is vital for preventing contamination and skin irritation. Always start with clean hands and tools to minimize the transfer of bacteria to your products. Regularly clean your makeup brushes and sponges using a mild cleanser to remove buildup and bacteria.

  • Begin with freshly washed hands and tools
  • Regularly clean brushes and sponges to prevent bacterial growth
  • Ensure proper ventilation in your makeup storage area to prevent moisture buildup

By following these guidelines for proper storage and maintenance, you can ensure that your makeup remains safe, effective, and free from contamination.

When To Throw Out Your Makeup: The Ultimate Guide for Fresh and Safe Beauty
When To Throw Out Your Makeup

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Common Questions And Misconceptions About Expired Makeup

When it comes to makeup, there are several common questions and misconceptions surrounding its expiration. Many people wonder how to know if their makeup has expired and how long they can actually keep it before it goes bad. It’s important to debunk these myths and understand the risks of using expired makeup to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our beauty products.

Debunking Makeup Expiry Myths

There are several myths surrounding makeup expiration, and it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction to make informed decisions about our beauty routines. Let’s take a closer look at some of these myths:

  1. Makeup has an indefinite shelf life: Contrary to popular belief, makeup does have an expiration date. While some products may last longer than others, all makeup eventually degrades and becomes less effective over time. The Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on the product packaging provides valuable information about its shelf life. This symbol typically features an open jar with a number and the letter “M,” indicating how many months the product is safe to use after opening.
  2. Expired makeup is harmless: Using expired makeup can pose serious risks to our skin and overall health. As makeup ages, it can harbor bacteria and other harmful microbes that can lead to skin irritation, breakouts, or even infections. Additionally, the ingredients in expired makeup can degrade and become unstable, affecting their performance and potentially causing adverse reactions on the skin.
  3. Powdered products don’t expire: While it is true that powdered products like blush and eyeshadow have a longer shelf life compared to liquids, they still expire. Over time, powders can become dry and lose their pigment, resulting in less vibrant and less effective application. It’s important to regularly check and replace powdered products to ensure optimal performance.
  4. Preservatives in makeup prevent bacteria growth: While certain preservatives in makeup can inhibit bacteria growth to some extent, they are not foolproof. Over time, even preservatives can lose their effectiveness, allowing bacteria and other microbes to multiply in the product. It’s crucial to adhere to the recommended shelf life guidelines for each type of makeup product to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.

Reducing Wastage And Maximizing Makeup Usage

Understanding the expiration dates and properly disposing of expired makeup is not only essential for our health but also for reducing wastage and maximizing the usage of our makeup products. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your makeup:

  • Keep track of the PAO symbols: Take note of the PAO symbols on your makeup products and mark the opening date to ensure that you are using them within the recommended timeframe. This will help you avoid using expired products and prevent potential skin issues.
  • Practice good hygiene: Proper hygiene is crucial when it comes to makeup usage. Always wash your hands before applying makeup to minimize the transfer of bacteria onto your face and into your products. Additionally, regularly clean your makeup brushes, sponges, and applicators to prevent the buildup of bacteria and extend the life of your products.
  • Don’t share makeup: Sharing makeup products can increase the risk of bacterial contamination and infection. Avoid sharing your makeup with others to maintain the integrity and safety of your products.
  • Store makeup properly: Proper storage plays a significant role in preserving the lifespan of your makeup. Keep your products away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and moisture to prevent degradation and maintain their effectiveness for as long as possible.

By understanding the common misconceptions about expired makeup and taking proactive measures to reduce wastage, we can ensure the longevity, safety, and effectiveness of our beloved beauty products.

When To Throw Out Your Makeup

Safety Precautions And Ethics Of Using Expired Makeup

Using expired makeup can pose risks to your skin and health due to potential bacterial growth and product degradation. Always check the expiry date on your makeup packaging and follow the recommended shelf life. When in doubt, it’s better to throw out old makeup to avoid any potential harm or skin issues.

Ensuring Safe Consumption

It’s crucial to prioritize your safety when it comes to using makeup. Expired products can pose serious health risks, such as skin irritations, infections, and even allergic reactions. To ensure safe consumption, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Check the product’s packaging for the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol. It consists of an open jar with a number and an “M” indicating the number of months the product is safe to use after opening.
  • Dispose of any makeup that has exceeded its indicated PAO symbol to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria or microbes.
  • Pay close attention to the texture, smell, and appearance of your makeup. If your liquid foundation starts to separate, cream-based products become thick, or your compact color develops an unusual odor, it’s time to toss them out.
  • When dipping into bottles, use a clean cotton swab rather than your fingers to prevent contaminating the product.
  • Store your makeup in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, as heat and light can expedite product expiration.

Ethical Considerations When Throwing Out Makeup

While ensuring your safety is paramount, it’s also crucial to consider the ethical implications of throwing out expired makeup. These considerations include:

  • Waste reduction: Excessively discarding makeup contributes to environmental pollution. Be mindful of your consumption habits and only purchase what you truly need.
  • Animal cruelty: Many cosmetic products undergo animal testing. By throwing out expired makeup responsibly, you can contribute to the prevention of unnecessary harm inflicted on animals.
  • Donation or repurposing: Some makeup products, such as powders or eyeshadows, may still be usable or salvageable even after they have expired for personal use. Consider donating or repurposing these items to minimize waste.
  • Research sustainable alternatives: Explore brands that prioritize sustainable practices and offer eco-friendly packaging options to reduce your environmental impact.

By following these safety precautions and ethical considerations, you can ensure the responsible use and disposal of your makeup while maintaining your health and making conscious choices for a more sustainable future.

When To Throw Out Your Makeup: The Ultimate Guide for Fresh and Safe Beauty
When To Throw Out Your Makeup

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Frequently Asked Questions On When To Throw Out Your Makeup

How Do You Know When To Throw Out Makeup?

Throw out makeup when it separates, thickens, or develops a rubbery smell. Check the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on the packaging to see the shelf life. Replace mascara every 3 months, lipsticks every year, and eyeliner every 3-6 months.

Foundations and powdered products usually last about 2 years.

How Do I Know When My Makeup Expired?

The Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on your makeup indicates how many months it lasts after opening. Look for an open jar symbol with a number and “M. ” Additionally, watch for signs like separation, thickening of creams, and unusual odors.

Replace mascara every three months, lipsticks yearly, and eyeliner every three to six months.

Should I Throw Away 10 Year Old Makeup?

Yes, it’s recommended to throw away 10-year-old makeup as it can harbor germs, degrade, and become rancid, affecting your skin. Additionally, makeup has a shelf life indicated by the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol.

How Long Can You Keep Makeup Before It Goes Bad?

Makeup should be discarded when it starts to separate, thickens, or develops a rubbery aroma. The Period After Opening (PAO) symbol indicates how long the makeup is good for after opening. Mascara should be replaced every 3 months, lipsticks every year, and eyeliner every 3-6 months.


Understanding when to throw out your makeup is essential to maintaining healthy and radiant skin. By paying attention to expiry dates, changes in texture or smell, and following recommended usage guidelines, you can protect your skin from harmful bacteria and prevent skin issues.

Regularly decluttering your makeup bag and replacing expired products is a simple yet crucial step in your beauty routine.

**Beauty Maven & Lifestyle Explorer** Hey, I'm Asma, the face behind Glowing Beauty! Dive into a world where skincare, haircare, and beauty collide with lifestyle. Uncover tips, tricks, and honest product reviews as we redefine your routine together. Let's glow, gorgeous!

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