Makeup Product

Do Skincare and Makeup Products Really Expire?

10 March 2021
woman applying makeup

Yes, Unfortunately they do.

makeup and skincare shelf life-Set of decorative cosmetic. Foundations, facial powders. pastel colored. Blue background.Do makeup and skincare products really have expiration dates?

Unfortunately, makeup products do actually go bad and become less effective. Every product has an expiry date and a recommended length of time that it’s good for on its packaging.

Assuming you have opened your new skincare or makeup product, you’ve exposed it to oxygen, which naturally begins to decay the ingredients inside. It may not go bad but it can bring down the product’s efficacy, making it less useful for your skin’s needs.”

Are certain types of products more likely to go bad sooner?

Products that are all-natural have a shorter shelf life. Especially products that are sensitive to temperatures. Any product that goes around the eye or is a liquid formula tends to go bad faster and as your eyes are so sensitive, you should be extra careful as expired products can cause eye infection.

How do you know if a product has expired?

There’s usually a number on your skincare product which may read 6,12, 24 or 36, and this is the number of months your product is meant to last after it’s opened. But if the colour of your product changes or it begins to smell, just throw it away, even if it has not passed the expiration date. Temperature, humidity and light can cause the product to age faster.

When it comes to makeup, products may stop performing the way they’re suppose to. For example your foundations can get a bit on the streaky side. Your product will just not perform the way it was intended.

  1. What are some of the dangers of using expired skincare and makeup products?

Aside from using products that aren’t as effective, which is a waste of money, using products past their best before date can lead to infections, inflammation and acne.

artistic rendering of mascara


This is the makeup item you should be most vigilant abouy. As the brush is taken out, applied, and put back in the tube, it brings with it any bacteria that has collected along the way, explains cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer. Lingering bacteria can cause redness and itchiness, or even conjunctivitis and styes. Switch mascara every two to three months to be safe. It will also have a distinct gasoline-like smell once it’s gone bad.artistic rendering of foundation 


With the exception of powder formulas, all foundations are water-based, which means bacteria love them. Unopened, foundation can last for a couple of years, but once the seal is broken, it’s best to replace it after 6 to 12 months. Keep foundations out of moist environments and away from heat, as high temperatures encourage the growth of the bugs and can speed up the spoiling. An off smell or a change in colour tells you the formula is finished, applying it could cause irritation or breakouts.

artistic rendering of face powder

Face Powder

Powders are the Energizer Bunny of makeup. They keep going and going—at least, for up to two years.


The same rules that apply to face powder apply to powder blush, since neither contain water. Cream blush, however, should be replaced after a year. 

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