Spring Cleaning- How To Part Ways With Product!

I find myself holding on to beauty products because I hate to waste product, but also because I don’t really know when to part with them! Lately, I have had friends asking me when they should be throwing out various products and I did not have a solid answer so I decided it was time to do some research!

As it turns out, it is very important to pay attention to makeup expiration dates and know a few general guidelines about when to toss your makeup. The major reason to toss and replace products is to avoid potential health risks such as skin irritations or eye infections. The preservatives in products only last so long after a product is opened. The big issue is that besides over the counter drugs, such as sunscreen or acne medications, there are no FDA requirements for brands to put expiration dates on their packaging.  This leaves us playing the guessing game!


  • Mascara: 2 to 3 months. Bacteria grows the quickest in liquids and when you double dip the brush, you are increasing your risk for eye infections
  • Lip Gloss: 6 months. Due to double dipping, again lip gloss can get contaminated easily. If you notice a change in scent or smell, toss immediately. Don’t share with others to avoid cold sores!
  • Lipstick/ Lip Liner: 1 year. These last longer than gloss, but again if it smells funny or you see mold, throw them out.
  • Foundation: 6 months to 1 year. Within several months, foundation can grow staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. These can cause serious infections so take this spring cleaning seriously.  Toss your foundation sooner than 1 year if you notice the color separating or the texture changing. Keep your foundation in a cool dark place to extend the shelf life. Also, use a clean brush, sponge or fingers to apply.
  • Concealer: 6 to 18 months. Liquid concealers do not last as long as a concealer stick.  If you dip a wand or your finger in the product it will not last as long as a squeezable tube.
  • Eyeliner: 18 months. Sharpen regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
  • Nail Polish: 1 year. You do not want to spread bacterial or fungal infections so pay attention to expiration dates. Keep the lid screwed on tightly and store in a cool, dark place.
  • Powders (facial powders, eye shadows, and blush): 18 months. These products contain the least amount of water, so it is harder for bacteria to grow and therefore you have fewer health risks.

While you are busy spring cleaning your makeup bag, don’t forget about your makeup brushes. Wash your brushes with a gentle brush cleaner or mild shampoo at least every 2 weeks.

Happy Cleaning and take this an opportunity to update your look and daily routine!


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