We are all guilty of using expired makeup. You spend a lot of money on your make-up products, so it is natural to try and get as much use out of it as possible and you are likely to be very reluctant to throw something out if there is still plenty of it left. But I’m here to tell you today why you should never use expired makeup.
But make-up expires and cannot always be used to the last drop. Expired make-up is not only less effective and lower quality but can also have an impact on your health. It can cause allergic reactions, eye infections, skin inflammation, and chalazion (you can find other causes of Chalazion here) to name just a few health problems that can occur when you use expired makeup.
So how long does it last?
You can usually find either an expiration date or a symbol showing how long the product will last once it is opened. This symbol looks like an open jar with a number inside indicating the product’s life span once it has been opened. 12M means it will expire 12 months after opening, 24M means it will last 24 months and once this time has passed you should cease using it. Unopened products are a little different and often do not give any indication of how long they keep. As a general rule of thumb, if you store the item correctly in a cool, dry place then most products will last for around 2 to 3 years unopened. If the product in question contains oils or butters for example liquid foundation, then they tend to break down and expired must quicker even if they remain sealed.
You should also be mindful of products that boast a lack of preservatives, this seems like a positive, but it also means that it will not last as long. Preservatives help prevent the build-up of bacteria and keep products safe to use for much longer so without these they will expire quicker than more synthetic formulas. Eye makeup is one that should be treated with extra caution and often have much shorter life spans of around 3 to 6 months. If you can properly remove the original surface and reveal a new clean layer then they will last longer, this is referring mostly to pencils such as lip liners and eyeliners.
As a general rule, I would advise that you never keep any products longer than 3 years and be sure to wash your make-up brushes regularly with antibacterial soap or specialized brush cleaning solution.
What happens to make-up when it expires?
Powdered products will become dry and crumble, the color pigment will also fade and lose its vibrancy. Liquid products may dry out or separate creating a layer of oil that has separated from the rest of the ingredients. Expired make-up accumulates more bacteria which can cause breakouts, rashes, or infections. Do not try to rehydrate dried-out makeup as this can introduce even more harmful bacteria and encourage the growth of existing bacteria. Expired eye make-up can cause serious eye infections, sties, or staph infections that can have detrimental effects on your vision.
So now you know exactly why you should never use expired makeup! As tempting as it might be, it’s time to have a good declutter of your makeup bag and toss out offending products.
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