Beauty tip: when to toss makeup

July 21, 2011 – Expired makeup can cause disaster to your skin, eyes or lips and therefore it is very important to pay attention to the expiry dates. However, sometimes the expiry date may refer to the makeup’s shelf life (as in how long it stays at the store before it is opened/bought) and not how long it should be used.

Immediately you open your makeup container/tube airborne bacteria creep in. Woe unto you if you touch your makeup with dirty hands or dirty applicators or brushes. Also sharing personal makeup is just suicide by itself…and so it’s a big NO NO!

Once a makeup kit is opened, the make-up’s lifespan is reduced (gets contaminated…) and hence should be tossed to save you grief, damages or unnecessary expenses later. In short, when makeup goes bad, things can get quite ugly…I’m talking irritations, infections et al.

Of all makeup…mascara has the shortest lifespan and it is most likely to cause problems if not tossed when it should. It is responsible for eye infections and the most common one being “pink eye” also known as Conjunctivitis.

To be safe, once you’ve opened a tube of mascara remember the germs are aware. You should toss your mascara after as little as two months but by then it should be over…ever wondered why they come in such small tubes?

Liquid cosmetics like foundations should be tossed from six months. It does help to smell some products (If it smells different toss it) and also check if their color has changed or it has become “cakey” and starts cracking…toss toss toss!

Remember though that not all change of color is bad as sometimes the color change could be as a result of oxidation.

Eye creams, face creams and eyeliners should be tossed after six months.

Lipsticks and pencils can last up to two years.

Eye shadow, blush and face powder can last from three years upwards


It is important to practice hygiene while handling makeup. Washing hands before handling makeup is really necessary and make sure your face is clean before applying makeup always.

It is also important to wash your brushes and sponges every once in a while as they can store a lot of bacteria. Wash your brushes at least once a month.

If using compact powder, store the puff with the used side away from the powder.

If you get an eye infection from eye makeup toss it ASAP and after getting an eye infection it would help if you stayed away from eye makeup altogether for about a week .

Finally, remember that a make-up’s chance of carrying an infection is much greater when its active ingredients and stabilizers break down because of age.

Take good care of your make up and you should be fine.

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