Makeup Shelf Live – Should I Toss It?

Do you know what’s in your makeup bag? You might be saying I have lots of makeup and I’ve hardly used them. Or, I’ve had my makeup for almost three years and since I just barely used it, I guess it’s OK. For many of you who have all that makeup and wondering how long I should keep it, these general guidelines will help you to decide what you can keep and what you should toss.

Products today are safer than ever but they do have a shelf life. Frequent use of an item increases the risk for bacteria to accumulate. Regular replacement of your makeup products will ensure that what you use is clean and free from contaminants.

Liquid Eye Liner and Mascara
Up to three months! When coming to your liquid eyeliner or mascara, you should know that every time you take the wand or brush out of the tube and use it, there’s the potential for contaminants. Your eye is a moist area and a haven for bacteria, which is why sharing your liquid eyeliner or mascara, is not a good idea. Any eye infections that occur as a result of using either of these products must be thrown out immediately. You can then start over again with new ones when the infection clears up.

Eye Shadows
Up to 12 months if it’s cream eye shadow, and up to 15 months if it’s powder eye shadow. Your eyes are the window of your soul, so don’t take chances here. Keep them healthy and free from infection. Get rid of the old eye shadows that have been accumulating in your makeup bag, and embrace the new with updated fresh colors for your eyes.

Powders
Up to three years! Powders do not contain water so bacteria cannot grow where water does not exist. You certainly won’t get any bad smell here so go ahead and enjoy using that powder you had since last year.

Eye and Lip Pencils
Up to three years if stored properly! Any bacteria on your pencils are removed whenever you sharpen it. If your pencil has been in your makeup bag since last year, don’t just pull it out and use it. Sharpen up, and you’ll be getting rid of what’s been sitting there.

Lipstick and Lip Gloss
These can last about two years unless of course, you use them up first. However, any unpleasant odor is a sure that it’s time to toss.

Liquid Foundation
Oil free foundation can last up to one year. Oil base foundation last somewhat longer and can go up to 18 months. If you’re prone to breakouts, then consider replacing every six months. My liquid foundation does not last me that long because I use it every day, so I’m on to a new tube by that time. Some liquid foundations are now offered in a pump, and this will last up to 8 months. However, any color change or separation is a good indication that it’s time to toss. A good rule of thumb would be to change your liquid foundation every 6 months.

Blush
Up to one year for cream blush! Up to three years for powder blush because it does not have water, and microbes cannot grow in water. However, if your cream blush gives off a rancid odor don’t get caught up in what you paid for it. Toss it out, I’m sure you’ll find another that you’ll like even better than the one you tossed.

Cleansers
Up to one year! Beside all the good-for-the-skin ingredients they contain, preservatives are also included to extend their shelf life. To get the most out of your cleanser, keep away from direct heat and store in your linen closet.

Astringents/Toners
Up to one year! This is particularly true if it contains Vitamin C. It is useless to try to extend the shelf life because the potency of the active ingredients are lost after one year.

Moisturizers
Up to one year! If you use it everyday like you’re supposed to, then that one year term becomes obsolete. Any change in consistency, color, or if it smells bad then toss it.
Eye Cream
Up to six months with continued use! If you don’t use it daily then it can last as much as one year. However, after one year you should not be using this product. It is certainly time to replace it with a new one especially if the consistency changes.

A good rule of thumb would be to toss any product that you’re not sure about. This is especially true if you’ve had it for so long, and you cannot remember when you first purchased it.