I have so many emails asking about the shelf life of skincare and makeup. I had one reader say she had the same face cream from 2009!! Not pretty ladies. Just like cosmetics, skincare has a shelf life…especially after it has been opened. So how are you supposed to know when to toss things out? European companies have used the PAO symbol or “Open Jar Symbol” for quite some time now.
Now…this symbol is starting to catch on in the states which is a good thing. In the past, this symbol was almost exclusively used for skincare but now it is being included on some makeup. The issue is that it’s not everywhere so here are a few good rules of thumb to go by.
Preface this by saying, if you are using it like you are supposed to – they should be gone within 8 months.
- Face cream 1-2 years
- Organics if the item in question is organic or has plant based ingredients, the shelf life is much shorter because there is a higher chance of contamination because they don’t use traditional methods of preserving so I would say 1 year at the MOST.
- Face Wash 1-2 years but again…it really should be lasting you a shorter period of time unless you buy an industrial size….LOL
- Eye Cream 1 year. Because it is a product that is near your eyes, there is a higher risk of contamination.
Makeup is a bit trickier because they have different ingredients here is a guide….
- Concealer Up to 12 months.
- Powder Up to 2 years.
- Pencil eye liner Should be sharpened regularly and can last up to 3 years.
- Eyeshadow Up to 3 years.
- Foundation Check the ingredients: A water-based foundation will last up to 12 months, oil-based will last up to 18 months.
- Lip liner Up to 3 years.
- Lipstick 1-2 years, BUT the best way to tell is, if it smells rancid or funny, toss it.
- Mascara 2-3 months
- Nail Polish Up to 12 months, depending on the quality.
- Brushes Wash every 2-3 months in a mild detergent.
- Sponges Wash weekly and discard monthly.
My last tip is always, always, ALWAYS wash your hands BEFORE you touch your products or your face. If you are touching your products with unwashed hands you are contaminating them – plain and simple. Think of it this way, whatever you touched that day is going into the product and onto your face….not pretty. So check your products and be safe!
Stay Safe & Pretty!!
Like this post? Don\'t miss another one! Subscribe to the RSS feed!!
From time to time, various brands, PR companies, and marketing firms graciously submit product to The Makeup Girl for editorial consideration. Just like any magazine, The Makeup Girl readers can take comfort in knowing that gratis product has never nor will it ever guarantee a mention on this blog/site. For the full disclosure, click the tab in the navigation bar at the top labeled \"Disclosure\".