Cosmetics Report

Makeup deals, cosmetics news, and reviews on the latest products

Check Your Makeup Expiration Dates

The hidden dangers in makeup, fragrances and personal care products within their own ingredients has been a growing concern for many women (and men). More and more people are emptying their makeup bags and medicine cabinets, opting for safer choices in everything from deodorant to lipstick.

But have you considered that even these safe cosmetics may not be good for you? Sure, they were at one time—but how long have you been holding onto that Burt’s Bees lip balm? Checking the expiration dates on your products and tossing the ones that are too old are an important part of keeping your body healthy. Not only do older products cease to work as well—they can also get messy and gross.

Different kinds of products have different shelf lives. A general rule to follow is the better you care for a product, the longer it’s going to last. (Hint—so instead of cramming up chunks of mascara at the top of the tube like excess Whiteout, keep the container clean.)

I had no idea that lip gloss is only good for up to three months. I have quite a bit of lip product purging to do in that case. Lipstick keeps for longer—four to five months—but for those of us who prefer gloss, that doesn’t help much.

Eye and lip pencils may keep until you use them out as long as you sharpen them between each use. That’s good news, as we like to use ours for things like drawing cat whiskers here at casa Crazy. Going back to the mascara I mentioned earlier—be sure to avoid pumping the brush to create those clumps and you might get a full shelf life out of the product, which is apparently only 13 weeks.

These shelf lives may not surprise women who wear makeup every day, but for those of us who keep it around for, say, random family dinners or other special occasions, it’s kind of sucky. At least skin care products, which I do use regularly, keep from six to twelve months after being opened.

After all of this, I must admit that I still have a tube of my grandmother’s lipstick in the bathroom. She passed away a few years ago, and though I won’t wear it, it’s still a nice reminder of her. If you do something similar, be sure to keep it in a container—like a plastic bag or a small box—to keep it from getting on other makeup. (Of course, you could just skip being as weird as I am and throw it away!)