Using expired make-up or cosmetics could mean that you’re exposing yourself up to potential skin infections and allergic reactions. Certain ingredients become rancid over time and products become infected with bacteria with frequent use (mascara for example).
Many women are guilty of using expired make-up and cosmetics on their skin, as they don’t keep a record of the date when the product was bought or first used. A good way to keep track of this is to either keep a list, or even easier, keep a permanent marker in your make-up bag and just write the date on the product tube or container. This is an easy way of keeping track of when you first opened the product and will be able to replace it before it goes off or expires.
Some products have an expiry date printed on the tube, bottle or tub, like moisturisers, toners, etc., while others may have a picture of a jar with an open lid and a number followed by an “M” (for example: 12M). This stands for how long the product can be kept after opening it. Dispose of the product if it has been open for longer than the number of months reflected, as it will have been exposed to air and possibly bacteria with frequent use, both of which can cause the product to go off.
Some guidelines for replacing make-up and cosmetics are as follows:
|PRODUCT||REPLACE PRODUCT AFTER|
|Blush : cream||6 to 12 months|
|Blush : powder||18 months|
|Brushes||Can last for years. Wash monthly & dry completely before storing|
|Concealer||6 to 12 months|
|Eye shadow : cream||6 to 12 months (some may last 12 to 18 months)|
|Eye shadow : powder||18 months|
|Eyeliner : liquid||6 months or less (if it smells strange, replace it)|
|Eyeliner : pencil||3 to 5 years (sharpen frequently to remove bacteria)|
|Foundation : liquid||6 to 12 months|
|Foundation : oil based||18 months|
|Lip liner : pencil||3 to 5 years (sharpen frequently to remove bacteria)|
|Lip Gloss||1 year (if it’s extra sticky, replace it)|
|Lipstick||1 to 2 years (if it smells rancid, replace it)|
|Mascara||3 months (if is smells off before 3 months, replace it)|
|Moisturisers||1 to 2 years (check for expiry date or symbol)|
|Powder||up to 2 years|
|Sponges||Wash weekly, replace monthly|
As mentioned before, these are just guidelines. If anything starts to change colour, separate, smell strange or look odd, rather replace it. If you’re not sure how old your make-up really is, there are two websites that could help you determine this, although you will need the product batch code which is usually printed on the label of the product, or somewhere on the bottle or tube. It’s a four to eight digit number that you’ll be looking for and once you have this you can enter it into checkcosmetic.net or checkfresh.com. Both these websites focus mainly on the bigger “global” brands, so you won’t find every brand listed, and definitely not smaller brands or local brands, but it’s worth look and if they’re listed on there it’ll tell you how old your product is.
A quick reminder that sharing make-up is never a good idea as eye infections can be spread by sharing mascara and eyeliner, while Herpes Simplex (otherwise known as Cold Sores or Fever Blisters) can be spread by sharing unsharpened lip liners, lipsticks and lip glosses. So, think twice before you borrow someone else’s make-up or let someone borrow yours!