How Long Does Make-up Last?

How long does make-up last? Whether it is lotion, mascara or lipstick, beauty products often carry some expiration dates, suggested by the manufacturer to ensure a quality product experience. The shelf life of make-up is limited and depends upon the specific product. These expiration dates are essentially like best-by dates on foods... but never, ever eat any make-up!

We basically recommend using make-up or beauty products for only a limited time beyond their expiration dates, especially if they are opened and used regularly. Further explanation follows.

So, how long does make-up last? The following table lists various beauty products with recommended expiration times past the printed date (or opened date, whichever came first):

How Long Does Make-up Last?

Make-up Expiration Date

Past Printed Date OR Opened Date (whichever came first)
Anti-aging Cream lasts for 6 Months
Acne Cream lasts for 6 Months
Lotion (body lotion) lasts for 2 Years
Lipstick lasts for 1 - 2 Years
Lip Gloss lasts for 1 - 2 Years
Lip Balm lasts for 1 - 2 Years
Stick Eyeliner lasts for 1 Year
Gel Eyeliner lasts for 2 - 4 Months
Mascara lasts for 3 - 6 Months
Foundation lasts for 1 Year
Powder Blush lasts for 2 Years
Cream Blush lasts for 12 - 18 Months
Liquid or Gel Eye Shadow lasts for 3 - 6 Months
Powder Eye Shadow lasts for 2 - 3 Years
Nail Polish lasts for 2 - 3 Years
Perfume lasts for 8 - 10 Years
Concealer lasts for 1 Year
Peels and Masks last for 3 - 6 Months

Of course, make-up lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly and can last slightly longer if not used very often. There are no U.S. laws or regulations that require cosmetics to have specific shelf lives or have expiration dates on their labels.[1] So, if there is a date on a cosmetic product it is a recommendation by the manufacturer.

How to tell if Make-up is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

A change in color, texture, aroma or consistency can alert you to spoiled make-up. If mascara begins to clump or smell bad it is for sure bad. Yet, bacteria in eye make-up can go totally undetected so remember to toss mascara and liquid eyeliner in a timely matter without waiting for any tell-tale signs (the age old better safe than sorry saga!).

Some common traits of spoiled foundation would be a separation of ingredients. A texture change in lipsticks, blushes and nail polish is a red flag.

Never share eye make-up such as eyeliner and mascara, as bacteria can build easily in these moist environments and pass quickly between eyes.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Make-up to extend its shelf life?

Make-up should be stored and handled properly in order to reach their expected shelf lives. Store make-up covered in a cool, dry and dark place. Light and moisture are enemies of make-up just like they are to foods and beverages. Pump top bottles should be twisted to the lock position if they will not be used for some time (vacation, etc.). Again, do not share eye make-up with friends or relatives. Make sure that lids are replaced and re-sealed properly in order to keep beauty products sealed airtight.

Refrigeration should be used for natural cosmetics and can also be helpful to many perfumes. Keep all other cosmetics away from heat, which includes leaving them in the car during the day. Keep sharpening those pencil eyeliners to keep them fresh and try to avoid storing them in the bathroom near a steamy shower where humidity can build and make them soft. Always wash hands before touching make-up, and better yet, try to keep fingers totally away from cosmetic products. That said, even brushes can carry bacteria and should be tossed and replaced consistent with usage.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How to use extra before your Make-up goes bad?

We can't think of too many uses for expired make-up, unless maybe to practice on a doll, but there are things you can do to ensure that make-up lasts as long as possible. Proper storage helps, but it is the bacteria from eyes, hands and lips that poses the most danger to make-up. Gels, balms and creams - anything that you dip into - should not be kept as long as products that you do not touch. Always wash hands before touching eye and lip make-up, as you would before touching food.

How long is Make-up good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does make-up last ? That can depend if you have mixed it with anything, remember that products expire along with the fastest expiring ingredient. How long does water last?

What are our shelf life resources?

In determining how long Make-up lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Make-up.

*An important note about expiration dates...

Although the Make-up shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

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