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Do You Know When Your Beauty Products Expire?

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Do You Know When Your Beauty Products Expire?
(Art by Tanya Leigh Washington)

While it's difficult to say goodbye to your favorite lipstick or mascara, it's important to realize that just like the products you buy from the grocery store, even your makeup has a shelf life. Bad or old products may be irritating on the skin, cause acne breakouts or—even worse—an infection. Is it worth it? Not to us, so we asked board certified dermatologist David E. Bank for his tips and tricks to keep a sanitary makeup routine. Read on and find out when it's time to toss your cosmetics.

Foundation: Replace every 6-12 months

"Clean brushes or sponge applicators should be used to apply to prevent bacterial contamination of the liquid/cream or solid foundation. If the product starts to separate or gets an “off” smell, it is also time to replace."

Mascara: Replace every 4-6 months

"Mascara usually does not last as long as other cosmetics. Because the applicator is in and out of the product, bacteria can be directly inoculated into the makeup. Changing this product more frequently may help to prevent eye infections or irritation."

Lipstick: Replace every Year

"Lipsticks can generally last up to a year but they do contain oils that will make the lipstick go bad. You can easily clean your lipstick with a cleansing wipe in order to remove the surface layer of germs or bacteria that just on the top of your lipstick. It can't hurt to clean your lipstick at least once a week but if you're careful about your lipstick usage, then you can stretch that to two to four weeks."

Eyeliner and eye shadow: replace every 2 years

"Eyeliner and eye shadow can usually last a bit longer, generally up to 2 years. Brushes or applicators should be used when applying eye shadow to prevent bacteria on fingers from contaminating the makeup and your eye area. Also, wipe your eye shadow cases regularly to help keep them clean and avoid the potential of bacteria growth."

Bonus Tip:

"When buying makeup, it is best to buy from a trusted source that has a fresh supply of products to ensure they will last the 6-12 months you want them to. When buying any type of makeup online, make sure there is either a 'manufactured on' date or an expiration date so that you are not getting outdated product."