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To Toss or Not to Toss? Understanding Makeup Expiration

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Consider this your official Save the Date announcement. No RSVP required. But you are cordially invited to note the dates you open your cosmetics.

Sure, yours is a sweet love story. Your cosmetics are by your side (and on your face and in your hair, and…well, you get the idea) whenever you need them. But, alas, all good things eventually come to an end, and this includes the shelf life of your opened items. Whether you buy natural or conventional items, you’re going to want to replace them after a certain period of time has passed to avoid potentially harmful effects (infections, irritation, etc.).

ITEM EXPIRATIONS

The expiration of the products you use and love varies from item to item, so we’ve put together this helpful guide to help you remember when it’s time for you and your makeup to break up.

3 MONTHS

  • Liquid Eye Liner
  • Mascara

1 YEAR

  • Lip Gloss
  • Lipstick
  • Cream Eye Shadow
  • Cream Blush
  • Liquid/Creme Foundation
  • Concealer

18 MONTHS to 2 YEARS

  • Pencil Eye Liner
  • Powder Eye Liner
  • Powder Blush
  • Powder Eye Shadow
  • Powder Foundation
  • Nail Polish 

HELPFUL HINTS: HOW TO TELL IF AN ITEM IS PASSED ITS PRIME

If you haven’t saved dates up to this point, trying to recall when you opened each item can prove tricky. Fortunately, there are tells—signs that it’s time to say goodbye. And while the shelf life of natural products is basically the same as conventional items (items with unnatural preservatives), you are going to find that these “tells”are more obvious with your natural choices—an added benefit to opting for natural. Signs to look for include:

  • Off Odor: Does the product have a peculiar smell? If so, it’s probably time to bid it farewell.
  • Clump Means Dump: If your liquid products start to form chunks, it’s time to buy new.
  • Gooey or Sticky: This applies to nail polish specifically.

HELPFUL HINTS: HOW TO TRACK YOUR OPEN DATES

To track your ‘open’ dates, you’ll want to select a method that works for your organizational style. Here are a few possible approaches to consider:

  • Make a note on your wall calendar. If you do this, you might want to think ahead and note the toss out date (instead of the open date), as your calendar will change and out of site could mean out of mind.
  • Use a permanent marker to note the open date directly on the product’s case or bottle.
  • Keep a small pocket calendar inside your vanity or makeup storage area.
  • Set a calendar alert using your smart phone to remind you when it’s time to go shopping.

Remember, save those ‘open’ dates. Doing so will lead to beauty bliss, and you and your cosmetics are sure to live happily ever after! 


 

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