How Old Is Too Old

old beauty products

Do you have a makeup drawer or cosmetic bag that makes you cringe it’s so full of old tubes and pots?

Sooo many of us are guilty of this! Here’s a handy to guide to knowing when to toss and replace:

clean-mascara-wand copy


3-4 months

Mascara is one makeup product in your bag that you want to keep tabs on. It’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Most mascaras with a tube and a wand have an antibacterial agent in them that last about 12 weeks making you safe for at least a couple months and likely safe up to 4. You risk eye infection the longer you keep the product. If you notice the smell changes or the texture changes, throw it out. It’s not worth it.

Tip: Don’t pump it in and out, the air will get in and dry it out.



Eye pencils: Eye pencils can be kept up to 2 years. To make sure you’re using a clean tip, sharpen before each application.

Eye shadows: Keep your applicators clean and your liquid shadows should last 12 months. Powder shadows will keep 2 years.

If you’ve had an eye infection, you’ll need to throw out all the eye make up and applicators you used from the time you developed symptoms. The virus or bacteria that caused the infection has probably taken up residence in your make up, so using those cosmetics again could cause you to develop another infection.



You can stow your tube lipsticks and your lip pencils for 2 years. As with eye pencils, sharpen your lip pencils before each use.



6 months.

Tip: Tubes and pump pots are the most hygienic, air and bacteria can easily get into jars.



12-18 months (see below)



12-18 months

Moisturizing foundations and stick concealers can hang around for 18 months. A 12-month shelf life applies to both oil-free foundations, which can dry out quickly, and liquid concealers.

Using clean brushes and sponges will help lengthen the life of your cosmetics. Be sure and wash or replace your applicators frequently.

When you open a cosmetic for the first time, write the date on the product. It will help you keep track of how long you’ve had the make up so you’ll know when it’s time to throw it away.

BE2134-1 face powder no.1 (open)


Discard your cream blushes after a year, powder blushes and powders after 2 years.

Think of your make up a bit like you do your food. If it smells weird, develops a film, or has a mold-green tint to it, it’s gone bad and needs to be tossed out.


Self Tan:

12 months

After a while the lotion can become fluid-like, watery, and will no longer work correctly… but most of the time they wont expire unless you’ve had them for several years.

Main pic Best of spf


Most sunscreens have a three-year shelf life. After sunscreens expire, the chemicals begin to degrade and separate, making them less effective. Eventually, old sunscreens will crystallize, separate, and may have a foul odor. Always check the expiration date on sunscreen before you purchase it. Keep in mind that extreme temperatures can also make sunscreen become less effective, despite its expiration date.


Nail Polish:

Unopened and properly stored polish will last at least 18 months, possibly 24 months depending on storage conditions,
Texture is a dead giveaway for varnish gone wrong. Older bottles typically feel thick, clumpy, and are troublesome to apply an even coat compared to newer, runnier textures. Stored out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dark setting — the light and heat can break down the drying time.


Lip Gloss:

 Gloss lasts a year when opened and 3 years when unopened. However, the number varies depending on type of lip gloss. Solid type glosses are less likely to expire soon because it has less moisture compared to the creamy ones. If you’re unsure of the date you bought your gloss, simply smell it and look at its consistency. Good gloss usually smells sweet and in congruence to the flavour indicated.

And your best guide is this.


It’s a symbol you’ll find on most of your moisturisers, cleansers, shampoos, conditioners et al. It tells you how long a product will last AFTER opening. It’s brilliant when you know it’s there!