Expired: What You Need To Know




Ooh pretty cosmetics I really adore them! I know heaps of you do too and some have amassed huge collections of make-up and skincare.  It does feel nice knowing that you have a product at your disposal for any situation, going out and your outfit is calling for a smokey eye then off you pop to get your gun metals or brows, maybe you are rocking a 60's inspired dress?  it's so much easier if you have your black liner pens or bright shadows right? 

The answer would be yes for every situation but would you still be so happy knowing you had everything to hand if what you actually had to hand was a tube of bacteria? maybe a bottle of rancid chemicals or even an infection in a tube just waiting to happen? Gross isn't it. You maybe reading this thinking gosh she takes it to the extreme and that these things never happen but you would be wrong and here's why. 

Like foods our cosmetics, hair care and skincare products have best before and shelf lives. Just like food these dates aren't always exact and some products (think about milk or breads for examples) can literally turn on you within a few hours even when on date. Cosmetics are the same after all many are made using butters, waxes and oils like many of our food products, they also contain preservatives but these don't always work as they should. 

Do you keep your products out on display? are they situated anywhere that catches the sun (even in the U.K)? did you know that the sunlight actually breaks down the preservatives in your products, making them hot houses for bacteria to grow? The longer they sit in their packaging the more bacteria grows and this can lead to some nasty infections and contraindications for the user. (Eeeeep, pink eye anyone? boils? sickness?) 

So if you are a little bit bamboozled by your make-up bag, here is a guideline for your cosmetics.

Expiry Dates 


Mascara - 3 months. If you find it has changed in consistency or has become smelly or gloopy toss it out.
Lotions - 2 years. Again colour or scent is a huge tell-tale if your product has turned, products with pump lids tend to last longer as airborne bacteria can't get to the product, if you aren't sure however toss it out.
Liquid concealer, foundations or BB/CC creams - 6 months to 1 year.
Lipstick - 2 years. Scent or consistency are giveaways with lipsticks.
Lip gloss - 1 year. Discolouration or scent is a big giveaway with gloss, if it's changed chuck it out.
Face powders - 2 years. Dry, flaky or cracking powders might be due to bacteria so you know what to do.
Blushers - 2 years
Eye shadows - 2 years
Nail polishes - 1 to 2 years. If they have become extra gloopy or won't blend together after quickly shaking then toss it out.
Fragrances - 8 to 10 years. Seriously just make sure you don't keep a bottle of perfume that long.


Gross isn't it? I also was surprised by the shelf life of mascara so please consider how long your products have been getting used for next time to reach for your make-up bag. 

My top tips for making sure your products stay as fresh as a daisy are. 

1. Never share products... ever! If you must then make sure you use new brushes or have disinfected the area to get rid of that nasty bacteria. 

2. Wash your make-up brushes weekly, a mild soap and water mix is enough to get rid of any bugs and beastie's that maybe lurking. 

3. Also any sponges that get used should be either replaced or washed weekly. 

4. Never test out make-up from beauty counters by directly applying it to your face. Always ask for a cotton bud or applicator that is sterile or new. 

5. Keep your products out of sunlight. Remove them from bathrooms after use as the heat is just a nightmare waiting to happen, ideally in a cupboard or somewhere dark. 

6. Regularly sort your products, do you have products you haven't opened or used? why not swap them with your friends unopened products? or sell them if they are still on date. 

7. Be brave and throw away any products that maybe off date or are off date. It's tough and just remember I feel your pain but think of all of the lovely new products that you will use up. *yay* 

8. If your brushes have been around for as long as you have been using make-up, it's time to invest in some nice new ones. Don't become a creature of habit, spoil yourself and think of the benefits of a bacteria less beauty regime.

9. If you have an open wound, infection, cold sore or cut please do not apply your products as you would if you didn't have these. These are the type of problems that lead to bacteria ridden packaging, tubes and containers which are then further spread when you re-use them again. Do you suffer from bad skin, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or just blotchy yucky skin? bacteria maybe the cause.

10. If you have a product that smells bad, looks bad or is just bad, toss it. Even if you have just purchased it either return it (yes you can do this) or chuck it. Ideally return it or complain if you have just purchased it.


I hope this helps you and your skin and here's to a beastie free beauty regime for all!
Are you surprised by any of the expiry dates? Are you a expiration angel or expiry devil?


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Comments are always appreciated. If you have a comment or want to discuss something 'off record' you can always drop me an email at sweetelysepr@gmail.com