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How Long Do Makeup Products Last?

How Long Do Makeup Products Last?
Emily Cotton
Beauty Editor3 years ago
View Emily Cotton's profile

When was the last time you sorted through your makeup bag? The last time you stopped buying more and more of your fave products and actually threw away some of the older items that haven’t seen the light in a long while? 

If you’re like us, it might have been a few months – at least.  

But, while you may tell yourself you need to hold on to this mascara/eyeliner/lipstick whatever because you might want it again soon, chances are it’s already passed its expiry date. Yes, you heard right, makeup and skincare products all have a ‘shelf life’. 

Does Makeup Have An Expiry Date? 

Ever looked at all the small text and symbols on the back of your makeup and skincare products? Probably not. But in amongst all the small print is actually something you might find helpful – your product’s expiration date. 

Look carefully and you’ll find a small symbol of an open jar with a number and an “M” - the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol. The number in this symbol indicates how many months you have between the day you open your beloved makeup product and the day it expires.


How Long Does Makeup Last Unopened? 

The expiry dates printed on makeup and skincare packaging are guidelines for how long the product will last once opened. Therefore, if you’ve not broken a product’s seal, it will last a little longer. While these dates aren’t advertised, if properly stored in a cool, dry place, most unopened, completely sealed makeup should last for around two to three years. 

How Long Does Makeup Last After Opening? 

So, once opened, you really shouldn’t be using your makeup products for longer than their expiry dates give them. It may seem like a waste to throw something away if it’s barely been used, but it could do more harm than good keeping this product around. 

Whilst all products will vary (so always check the date on the exact product you are using), most makeup will last around as long as the following... 

  • Foundation/ concealer: 12 months  
  • Mascara: 3 - 6 months  
  • EyeshadowUp to 3 years  
  • Eyeliner: 12 months  
  • Lipstick: 18 - 24 months  
  • Lip gloss: 12 - 18 months 
  • Cream products (including skincare)6 - 12 months  
  • Powder products: 12 - 18 months

What Can Happen If You Use Makeup Products After They Have Expired? 

While makeup that has expired will likely have dried up or gone lumpy or crumbly based on the type of product it is, this isn’t the worst that can happen. As well as your products not looking good and therefore not applying properly, they can also do harm to your skin. Expired makeup can also be home to bacteria which can lead to blemishes, acne, skin rashes and infections. 

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If you’ve now detoxed your makeup bag, it’s surely ready to be filled with brand new products, right? If you’d like five incredible hair, skin and makeup products delivered straight to your door every month, subscribe to GLOSSYBOX today. As a Glossy, you’ll also get a whole host of other benefits including exclusive discounts and priority access to our Limited Edition boxes and the GLOSSYBOX Skincare range!

Emily Cotton
Beauty Editor
View Emily Cotton's profile
I'm someone who loves getting glammed up, but I feel like I never have enough time. Frequently running between work, the gym and seeing friends means my makeup routine is quick and often touched up on the go. Therefore, beauty products that serve as multi-purpose are perfect for me - a blush that works for cheeks and lips is a must in my makeup bag!