Do Cosmetics Expire? Here’s All You Need to Know

Do Cosmetics Expire? |

Ever found a forgotten tube of mascara stashed at the back of your vanity? Is your foundation supposed to look like that? Is it time to move on to a new moisturiser? Unbeknown to many, cosmetics do expire! Each have their own specific shelf life. Here’s when it’s finally time to toss that lippie.


Foundation lasts around 6–12 months. Water-based foundations are able to last longer. Keep bacteria off the bottles by letting the foundation drip onto your hands instead. If you notice separation, the product should be thrown out.


Similar to foundation, concealer has a shelf life of 6–12 months. Keep the applicator away from direct contact with the skin to reduce transfer of bacteria. Separation is a sure-sign to discard it.

Mascara and Eyeliner

Wet products harbour bacteria more easily — mascara is easily contaminated! It’s best to throw it out after 3 months of regular use, or up to 6 months with occasional use. If it develops a funky smell or starts getting crusty, it’s a sign it’s going off.


Liquid highlighter lasts anywhere from 6–12 months. Powder highlighters can last significantly longer, with up years of shelf-life in them.


Powder blush has the longest shelf-life out of all the makeup products out there. With clean brushes, you can squeeze out 2 years of life from it — using dirty brushes only spreads dust and dead skin cells into your product. Cream blush can last around 12–18 months. If the formula changes, it is best to get rid of it.


In a time where lip makeup has taken a backseat, you’ll be glad to hear that lipstick and its counterparts have a lifespan of about 12–18 months. Why does lip makeup take longer to expire? Being used for the mouth, their formulas are meant to protect against bacteria. However, this breaks down after awhile. Avoid re-applying your lipstick right after meals to keep the germs away.


Surprise, surprise! It may be time to let go of that Naked Palette. Eyeshadows have a lifespan of around 2 years, and I have definitely kept mine for longer than that. To reduce the risk of eye infections, it’s better to bin it.

Do skincare products also have expiry dates?

Do skincare products also have expiry dates?

Long story short, yes! Unopened skincare products can usually last up to two years. Opened products expire within a year. Anything longer than that should be discarded. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you find it hard to finish using up your products, opting for travel-sized products or a beauty subscription box can be a great way to save!

How to Know Makeup is Expired?

Look out for this symbol on your products! While the information below is a general guideline, each formula differs in terms of ingredients, and thus shelf-life amongst the same type of cosmetics also vary.

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