The feeling you get inside when you find the right makeup product is indescribable. Whether it’s cream eyeshadows, a powder foundation, or a lip gloss something just comes alive in you.
So it seems a little weird to think about how beauty products eventually expire. And yes, in case you didn’t know, makeup products do expire.
Unfortunately, many people go on to use expired products simply because they don’t know the warning signs. And this can lead to skin irritation, eye infections, and more.
But we’re here to help you understand how long your liquid foundation lasts. And what you can do to prevent it from having a shorter shelf life than it should.
See Related: How To Use Hyaluronic Acid
Signs your makeup’s shelf life has expired
First and foremost, you should always check for an expiration date on any of your makeup products in their original packaging. But just in case it doesn’t come with an expiration date, here are a couple of signs that are telling you it’s time to toss it.
Expired makeup will have a unique smell
Before you apply any makeup, you should always perform what we like to call a smell test. We know we’re talking specifically about mineral liquid foundation here.
But in this instance, we’re talking about liquid eyeliner, cream blushes, pencil eyeliners, face cream, eye cream, eye shadows, the works. And if it has a particular odor that you just can’t put your finger on, it’s best to throw away.
The texture of your beauty products has changed
Since we’re talking about liquid foundation, you’ll be able to detect any changes in texture easily. It should be silky, smooth, and free of chunky bits.
Sorry, we know that’s quite an unsettling visual. But that’s the very thing you don’t want to be putting on your face!
The color of your beauty product seems off
The active ingredients in make products actually go through a similar chemical reaction to fruits and vegetables when exposed to air. It’s called oxidation.
And this process can affect the color of your makeup. Over time, and with consistent use, your cosmetics are constantly being exposed to the air.
So it only makes sense that a lipstick, foundation, or even liquid eyeliner starts to change in color. If you notice a change in color, specifically any brassy hues in your makeup, then it probably isn’t the best idea to continue using them.
Some general guidelines to makeup expiration dates
We know some of you are just looking for quick answers. So here’s a general guideline that will help you set your expectations:
- Lip products can last for about a year and a half. Sometimes up to two years.
- Lip gloss, on the other hand, will last for about a year to a year and a half.
- Liquid foundation and concealer will typically last for about a year, maybe more if they are properly stored.
- Liquid eyeliner lasts for only three months, sometimes six.
- Mascara has a similar expiration date to liquid eyeliner, AKA three months to six months.
- Cream products typically last between a year to a year and a half.
- Powder products like powder blush, face powder, or setting powder will last a year to a year and a half as well.
We know it can feel impossible to remember the exact date that you bought the product. But consider labeling your makeup jar with a number or date – even putting masking tape over it to remind you when you first purchased it!
Again, this is just a general guideline for figuring out whether you’re working with old makeup. But otherwise, the smell, texture, and color test are the way to go to see if a product has expired.
How to store your liquid foundation for a longer shelf life
So we know that a product expires. It’s the inevitable way of life. But here are a few ways that you can prevent having to throw away products past too early.
Keep your foundation and other cosmetic products out of direct sunlight
Makeup doesn’t like direct heat. And that goes for eye makeup, powder blushes, lip liners, eye shadow, and even your natural exfoliator too.
So if you’re keeping your makeup in a hot car, you can expect those expiration dates to come a lot sooner than is labeled. That’s because heat promotes bacterial growth.
So you’re literally making a breeding ground for bacteria inside of your eyeshadow palette. Sorry for the visual but it’s true!
Store them in a cool, dry place
Instead, make sure that your makeup and cosmetics are stored in a cool and dry place. This will allow your eye makeup, nail polish, powder formulas, mascara, and lipstick cosmetics to last to their intended expiration date. Even your water-based moisturizer too.
And don’t worry about them being locked inside of a dark cabinet. They actually like it there! And they have each other to keep company with.
Be weary of steamy bathrooms
Most people are used to storing their makeup and cosmetics in the bathroom. As in where they shower. As in long, hot, steamy showers.
But this actually isn’t the best place for your makeup to reside. Steam can cause mold and bacteria to accelerate inside your mascara, lipstick, or even makeup brushes.
And then you just have to rush out and buy a new tube of lipstick sooner than you thought. We know it can be a hassle having to store your mascara in another room.
But you’ll be grateful for it later. And so will your skincare cosmetics and AHA serums!
Keep lids tightly closed
Remember how we mentioned that process of oxidation earlier? Well, a proper storage technique to combat this process is by making sure all of the lids are shut tight.
Of course when you use the product, it will still be exposed to air. But that doesn’t mean it has to be exposed to air for the next 23 hours inside of a drawer.
Wash your makeup brushes regularly
Any makeup artist will tell you that the key to good makeup hygiene is regular washing. Of course, this won’t stop your products from becoming old makeup down the road.
But it will lessen your risk of premature bacterial growth. We’ve all been a little too hasty with a mascara brush and ended up getting an eye infection because it was simply too old.
So make sure you keep your delicate eye area and other features safe and clean. And always wash your hands before and after using a product.
Bonus: When To Use A Facial Steamer
FAQs about makeup products and their shelf life
Hopefully, these tips can help you extend the current shelf life of your beauty products. But just in case, we’ll answer a couple of FAQs to leave you well-informed.
How long can you keep liquid foundation?
We mentioned this earlier but in case it wasn’t clear, you can expect your liquid foundation to last for one year. Unlike other products like mascara and eyeliner that last only three months, liquid foundation lasts a bit longer.
And it will also depend on the formula. If it’s a water-based liquid formula, it will last up to one year. And if it’s an oil-based formula, it could last up to a year and a half.
Does liquid foundation expire?
Yes! (Just drilling this in because makeup products do expire!)
You might think it’s just a hoax that makeup goes old. But we promise you it’s not.
So if you’ve still got the same products you had five years ago stashed in your makeup drawer, it’s time to let go. Seriously, your skin will thank you.
What happens if you use expired foundation?
Just like expired mascara can give you an eye infection, expired foundation can lead to redness or irritation. Additionally, if any bacteria gets in there, they can cause breakouts or other infections.
Then it just becomes a long winded cycle of using the product, breaking out, using more product to try and cover it up. And that’s no fun.
So always be on top of your makeup products and their expiration dates. It will save you so much more trouble down the line.
When should you replace your liquid foundation?
Even though your liquid foundation should last up to a year, there are some warning signs you should look out for. If your foundation has separated, feels too thick, clumpy, thin, or runny, it needs to be replaced.
Basically, if you have any inkling in the back of your mind that this foundation isn’t what it was, toss it. You might have unknowingly exposed it to bacteria by keeping it in a steamy bathroom.
Or not shut the lid tight enough, causing it to oxidize. Either way, you’ll want to be on the safe side and replace it when it seems like it’s no longer the same product as when you first purchased it.
Does unopened makeup expire?
This sounds like a trick question, but we promise it’s not. You might think you’re safe with an unopened product, even if you’ve had it stashed in your drawer for two years.
But even when unopened, a product will eventually go through the same breakdown process as an opened product. So before you think it’s a great idea to buy bulk, think again.
That being said, products that are unopened may last longer if you store them properly. But most often, the expiration date on the product will be accurate.
Makeup can give you the power to try on daring looks and new personalities. But when it comes to makeup maintenance, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
So try to keep up to date on what products you’ll need to be replacing soon. That way, you can keep being creative while still taking proper care of your skin.
Keep Reading: What is Mineral Foundation?
For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts, and more.