All medicine have an expiry date and we all follow it religiously but what about your make up ? Have we ever given this a thought.Have you ever thrown away your cosmetics after they have outlived their utility ? Most importantly do you know what are the safety guidelines ? Read on...

There are no regulations or requirements under current United States law that require cosmetic manufacturers to print expiration dates on the labels of cosmetic products. Manufacturers have the responsibility to determine shelf life for products, as part of their responsibility to substantiate product safety. FDA believes that failure to do so may cause a product to be adulterated or misbranded. 

Makeup shelf life guidelines:

First off, if it smells, stinks, has a distinct odor that should not be, throw it away! I am amazed at how long women will keep cosmetics that have a bad odor. Do yourself a favor and trash it. Another good rule of thumb, if you can't remember when you purchased it, trash it. Makeup should not stir up memories from ten years ago. If you makeup bag does, throw it out!

Shelf life of common makeup :

  • Oil free Foundation : 1 yr
  • Cream or Compact Foundation: 18 months
  • Concealer :12-18 months
  • Powder:2 years
  • Blush and Bronzer: 2 years
  • Cream Blush: 12-18 months
  • Powder Eye shadow: 2 years 
  • Cream Eye shadow: 12-18 months
  • Eyeliner : 2 years
  • Liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months
  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Lipstick: 2 years
  • Lip liner: 2 years
  • Lip gloss: 18-24 months
  • Nail Color: 1 year

Tips to lessen the contamination of makeup and extend its use:

Use common sense! Basic hygiene is key: 

  • Before applying makeup, wash your face and hands with soap.
  • Instead of directly touching your makeup by placing your fingers in the product, pour a little into your palm or scoop a little out with a disposable spoon or applicator.
  • Don't share your makeup with others.Keep makeup containers tightly closed when not in use.
  • Throw makeup away if the color changes or an odor develops (makeup has preservatives, similar to that in food, which can break down over time).Don't use water or, even worse, saliva, which could introduce bacteria that could easily grow out of control. 
  • If makeup has lost its original texture or consistency, the preservatives have probably broken down.I
  • f you are using natural cosmetics, these should be thrown out sooner. Regular cosmetics contain ingredients that do help prolong shelf life. But of course natural cosmetics do not.
  • Oils and bacteria get trapped in the bristles of the brushes. Wash natural-bristled brushes once a month, and synthetic brushes three to four times a month. Lay the brushes flat to dry so that the bristles don't break, and to maintain the shape of the brushes. There are brush cleansers out there, but you can also use mild soap. You may also use baby shampoo to wash your brushes.
  • Cosmetic makeup sponges are disposable tools. Wash after every use. Toss within 1 month, or when the sponge begins to tear.

Be vigilant and take care when next you buy your cosmetics (makeup).