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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Skin Care Product Expiration

Skin care products can be expensive. People love to have them but hate to buy them – and that’s exactly why it’s easy to talk yourself into keeping that $50 bottle of moisturizer you bought three years ago that’s only half-empty. Although you may be saving money, you might be doing a disservice to your skin. Here is a brief guide on when to keep and when to toss your skin care products:


Of all your cosmetics, your eye makeup probably has the shortest shelf life. There isn’t a good way to clean the majority of the applicators you use, so it’s easy for bacteria to grow quickly and abundantly. You should throw away your mascara every one to three months. If it’s dry and clumpy, it’s well past its expiration. When it comes to liners, pencils can last up to a year if they’re the type that can be regularly sharpened, but gel and liquid liners should be thrown away every couple of months. Cream eye shadows can last up to a year, and powder eye shadow is good for up to two years. 

Lipstick will begin to dry out after about two years, and that’s your sign to toss it. Lip gloss, on the other hand, will start becoming extra sticky when it’s reached its expiration, and that usually happens after one year. 

Powders and blushes tend to last up to two years. Powders will start to become flaky and dry when it’s time to toss them. Liquid foundation can last anywhere from six months to a year. When your foundation starts to lighten and separate into layers, that’s when you’ll know it’s time for it to go.


Facial cleansers can last up to six months. If your cleanser includes benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it’s important to note that they decay quickly and no longer work as they should after about four to six months. Glycolic peels and acne treatment pads will begin to dry out after two months and should be thrown out once that happens.

Body washes can last for two to three years. If you notice a change in consistency, smell or color, stop using the product.


One year is a safe bet for most moisturizers. Although products that don’t contain anti-aging properties may last longer, the bacteria that accumulates in the jar causes your moisturizer’s shelf life to decline dramatically.

Body lotions can last from two to three years. If you notice a change in smell, color or consistency, it’s time to replace it.

As mentioned in a previous post, sunscreen is effective for up to three years after its purchase date. To ensure shelf life longevity, it’s important to store your sunscreen in a cool or room-temperature environment.

Do you have any product expirations that weren’t addressed in this post? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll try to help you out!


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