How Long Does Makeup Last?

Author: Michelle Teeken   Date Posted:23 December 2022 

Are you guilty of hesitating when it comes to throwing out old makeup products? It can be difficult to come to terms with, especially if you spent good money on them. However, the lifespan of these cosmetics may not last as long as you think. It’s important to dispose of expired makeup because it can act as a breeding ground for bacteria. By replacing cosmetics on a regular basis, you can help avoid skin irritation, breakouts, eye infections and styes. Keep reading for information on the lifespan of different types of cosmetics. By knowing these expiry dates, you can take steps towards being safe and healthy when using your makeup.

What Is PAO? 

PAO Symbol

The expiration date for makeup can vary depending on the specific cosmetic, how it was stored when bought, and whether it is sealed or not. In most cases, cosmetics expire within two years of purchase. However, some may only last three months after being unsealed. You can discover the expiry date of a product by its original packaging. There should be a symbol displayed of an open jar with a number, followed by an ‘M’, generally near the list of ingredients. This is called a PAO (Period After Opened) symbol. The symbol indicates how many months the product is safe to use after it has been opened before it expires.


When Do Face Palettes Expire?

Face Palettes from Modelrock

Powder products such as FACE PALETTES, are the longest-lasting cosmetics you can purchase because the formula doesn’t contain water. Products that lack water make it difficult for bacteria to develop in. The lifespan of powders can be extended for longer periods of time, typically 12-24 months, if you’re regularly cleaning your MAKEUP BRUSHES. Otherwise, you’re reapplying old makeup, germs, and skin cells onto the surface of the powder product with each use when your tools are dirty.

You can tell when powder products are expired if there is a hard rim on the surface or any discolouration. This occurs when the minerals in the product have mixed with the oils and dirt from your skin overtime. To prevent this, always close your compact after use to avoid oxidation. Once again, make sure your makeup brushes are always clean before each use. You can deep clean them with SOAP, or sanitize them with BRUSH CLEANER SPRAY.


When Does Mascara Expire?

Mascara from Modelrock

In comparison to other cosmetics, mascara has the shortest lifespan and it’s highly recommended that you replace your mascara every 3 months. Replace it sooner if you’ve noticed the original formula or scent has drastically changed. Replacing your MASCARA frequently is essential for preventing eye infections. Damp environments harbour bacteria, which is why mascara has such a short expiration period. When using mascara, the bacteria that naturally exists on our eyelashes are transferred to the mascara wands and then into the tube. This is another reason as to why mascara should NEVER be shared as it can cause cross-contamination.


When Does Eyeshadow Expire?

Eyeshadows from Modelrock

But what about EYESHADOW? It’s a powder product but it’s used on the eyes? Eyeshadows can typically last as long as face powders, but they should be replaced sooner since they’re being used around the eye area. We recommend keeping them for a maximum of 12 months, making sure the compact is sealed shut after each use, and stored in a cool and dry place. Keep an eye out for any signs of expiration. If you notice a change in scent, consistency, lack of pigmentation, or if they’ve completely hardened, it’s time to say goodbye and invest in a new eyeshadow palette.

HACK: If the surface of your powder products has hardened a little bit (and it’s still well before expiry), take a fresh MASCARA WAND and lightly scratch away the top layer. This will reveal untouched product beneath the hardened surface which can be salvaged and used.


When Does Eyeliner Expire?

Three eyeliners from Modelrock

Depending on the EYELINER formula, they can last between 3-6 months. In comparison to PENCILS, liquid eyeliners have a shorter lifespan. They have the same bacteria-prone packaging as mascara, where you need to dip back into the tube to access more product. You can reduce the growth of germs in liquid eyeliner by cleaning the tip after each use. Like mascara, don’t share your liquid eyeliner to prevent eye infections. If you are using liquid eyeliner on a client, make sure to use a DISPOSABLE and NEVER double dip.

Pencil eyeliners will have a longer lifespan because they are generally SHARPENED. When sharpening the tip of a pencil, it removes the bacteria that is picked up from use. Just make sure to regularly clean your sharpener with a COTTON TIP dipped in sanitizer to stop bacteria forming on the razor. You don’t want germs transferring onto your eyeliner.


When Do Lipstick and Lip Gloss Expire?

Nine lipsticks and glosses from Modelrock

LIPSTICKS AND GLOSSES can last between 12 - 18 months, this is because they’re packed with preservatives to ward off bacteria. But we recommend replacing your favourite lip products after 12 months, as the formula naturally starts to break down after that period. You may need to throw out lip products sooner if you notice a change in their texture. This could be that they’ve dried out, became clumpy or have separated. To make the most out of your lipsticks and glosses, make sure to keep them stored in a cool and dry place. Keeping them stored away from heat slows the breakdown of the ingredients. We also recommend waiting to re-apply lip products after eating. Applying them directly after eating encourages the growth of bacteria and can contaminate your cosmetics. 

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