The Real Truth About Your Old Makeup

Let’s get real, it’s time to clean out your cosmetic collection.
If you went to open up your makeup drawer right now, how many of the products are realistically part of your everyday routine? It’s all too easy to get attached to beauty products, even if you can’t remember the last time you’ve used them. Among those dozens of eye shadow palettes you haven’t touched in at least a month, there are sure to be some you could throw out.
No matter how much old makeup you have stored away, you’re not alone in your inability to part with your old products. In fact, the internet has even coined ‘makeup hoarding’ to be a mental health disorder.
I know, parting with your $50 Urban Decay palette is a less than enjoyable experience. But with rampant expiration dates and recalls, it’s extremely important that we stay on top of our beauty collection for the sake of our own health. While rare, old makeup can cause infections and beyond, especially when the wrong product is used for too long. Here’s all you need to know about when to toss your cosmetics…


Knowing that this product comes in such close contact with your eyes, you should keep your favorite tube of mascara for no longer than 3 months to avoid irritation. Plus, replacing your mascara will lead to guaranteed longer and fuller lashes rather than trying to use the end of your dried up tube.


You can keep your face base for six months to a year, meaning you’ll probably use your foundation before needing to throw it out. Additionally, keeping your fingers away from the spout will help it last longer, germ-free! However, if you notice the formula separating, it’s definitely time to move on.

Gel Eyeliner

Replace your pods of eyeliner every two months. While you probably still will have product left – the pot of eyeliner attracts bacteria, which can then be transferred to your eye. If this quick expiration is too hefty on your wallet, consider switching to liquid eyeliner which can be kept for up to four months, or pencil eyeliner which can be kept for up to a year.


Expired lipstick won’t necessarily hurt you, though a change in texture can make it very difficult to apply that pop to your lips. To avoid the product drying out and crumbling or melting into goop, store it in a cool, dry place (note: while car lipstick touch-ups are a must, storing products there long term will ruin them!).


One of the most deceiving products of all is eyeshadow. They will last good as new forever, and you’ll probably never reach the bottom of each color in the palette. But in reality, you should replace eyeshadow about every year. Similar to some of the other products on this list, palettes can harbor bacteria which can lead to harmful eye infections – which are definitely not worth it.
On top of frequently rotating your makeup collection with new fresh products, you should be cleaning your brushes and keeping your application space crystal clean. While getting that glam chic look up is important, protecting your gorgeous visage from infection and irritation is equally essential!

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