When I first heard whispers of how long beauty products are supposed to last I was super disappointed. Like others my age and older, we are low-key cosmetic hoarders. That one lipstick that we actually love, the mascara that we keep going back to, and the eyeliner that you won’t go anywhere without – all of these products are our holy grail – but what if they can actually cause us harm.
Like other products, beauty & cosmetics have expiration dates. While they aren’t plastered on the outside of the packaging like a loaf of bread – they are serious none the less. One of the things that I realized when I started investigating the cosmetics industry after my horrific lip allergy in 2018, is that the cosmetics industry is pretty much self-regulated and has been for almost a century. The only government oversight of cosmetics companies comes under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which passed in 1938. The act is focused mainly on regulating adulterated or misbranded products, or products that are falsely packaged. However, labeling products as natural or organic does not qualify as misbranding and the 1938 act also does not require the FDA to recall potentially dangerous items or monitor the ingredients used in products. Yikes.
Related: 4 Ways To Get Your Skin Summer Ready
Here’s how long of a shelf life your products actually have – after you open them:
- Mascara – 3 Months
- Eyeliner Liquid – 2-3 Months
- Foundation – 6-12 Months
- Concealer – 12 Months
- Eyeliner Pencil – 12 Months
- Blush, Eye Shadow, Powder – 12-18 Months
- Lip Gloss – 18 Months
- Bronzer – 24 Months
- Lipstick – 24 Months
- Pencil Eyeliner – 24 Months
- Eye Shadow – 24 Months
- Face Powder – 24 Months
Related: What To Do With $150 At Sephora
Every time you touch your makeup or skin-care products you actually transfer germs to them — and, subsequently, to your face. One more tidbit before you go – Heat and humidity, which promote the growth of mold and yeast, are our worst nightmare. That’s one reason the bathroom, though convenient, isn’t the ideal spot to store cosmetics. You’re welcome.