The age-old question: do you need to pay attention to makeup expiration dates? A few friends have asked me and I want to talk about it here so we all have something we can refer back to!
Do You Need to Pay Attention to Makeup Expiration Dates?
The short answer is yes. Especially if you use more natural makeup and skincare. But let’s break it down.
The Lifespan of Products
Almost all products come with a little image of a jar either on the box or the product itself with a number inside of it. This is the Period After Opening (PAO).
The number inside typically has the letter “M” right after it. This stands for months. So 6M as seen in the pin above means 6 months.
Most manufacturers determine a products’ shelf life based on a few factors and you should use it as a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. They don’t know how a product will be stored or how it will be used.
Once a product is opened, the exposure to light, air, and potential bacteria means that the clock has started ticking. Even if a product is sealed, the heat and humidity in your bathroom could cause the product to break down. This means that makeup and skin care could expire before the date listed on the container. Don’t push your products much longer than what’s listed.
If the date isn’t listed or you can’t remember, a good rule of thumb is the more moisture the product has or the closer it comes to your eyes (foundation or mascara), the shorter it’s lifespan.
Things to Look Out For
Products made with water are often the first to go bad as water can encourage the growth of bacteria. If your product has water listed as one of the ingredients, it must also have a preservative. It’s very difficult and unsafe to have a product with water but without a preservative. Be careful of natural products that claim to be preservative free.
If possible, you want to keep your fingers out of the container the product is in. So if something is in a bottle, try pouring it out without touching the neck of the bottle. If something is in a tube, try squeezing it into your fingers or hands without touching the tip of the tube. Use clean brushes for your makeup and wash them every few weeks.
Once a product’s texture or formulation changes, or starts to smell bad, you know it’s time to throw it out.
What other questions do you have about makeup expiration dates?