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Not Sure If Your Makeup is Expired? We Have The Clues For You.

Let's talk about something serious. How long have you held onto that lipstick or lip gloss in your purse? Months? Maybe years? Or that one foundation that you heard was so great online but you only used in the summer? There is such a thing as expiration dates on makeup and we’re here to tell you; drop everything. It’s time to clean out that makeup drawer!

We’re all guilty of using expired makeup, and that’s okay. Most of us lose track of when we buy makeup products, especially when some of us hoard tons of it. Expiration dates are important to know about because makeup isn’t just something we wear on top of our skin. Throughout the day, it seeps deep into our skin and into our bodies too. Being aware of when your makeup goes bad and when to throw it away is crucial to keeping your skin and body clean and healthy.

Below are a few facts and tips on how to determine if some of your favorite beauty products have expired, how to keep them clean, and when it’s time for them to go.

First and foremost, there is an expiration “icon” on the back of most products. Below is an example of what it looks like.

The number represents approximately how many months it is good for after you open the product and is exposed to air.  

In this case, “12M” means this product is good for 12 months or 1 year after it’s opened.

All expiration dates below are estimated after a product is opened.

Lotions & Moisturizers (Face & Body)

When it expires: Approximately 1 year

When it needs to go: When it starts to smell different, the bad different. The consistency also indicates when it expires. You’ll notice it isn’t as creamy and thick but instead is now chunky and watery. Each brand is different. Sometimes, you might not know if it’s going bad. Take a moment to look at your skin. Has it been breaking out lately? Itching? Red patches? Acne? That could be a clear sign right there. Is it time for you to get a new one? If so, InboxDollars has plenty of coupons for healthy & beauty products. Update your skincare regime, save a couple dollars on the product, and earn money for redeeming coupons from InboxDollars Check it out.



When it expires: Approximately 6 months to 1 year

When it needs to go: Foundation is an easy tell when it starts to turn bad. If the color doesn’t look right or doesn’t match your skin tone anymore, it’s time to say goodbye. Another easy clue is that the oils from the foundation start to rise above the bottle. You’ll notice when you attempt to use it, the oil and color of the foundation are separated and don’t blend correctlyto the garbage it goes.

You can replace your foundation for free with free gift cards to Sephora or free mobile Target gift cards. Lots of rewards sites and apps offer free ways to cash in.

Eye shadows

When it expires: Approximately 2-4 years or more

When it needs to go: When you dip your brush in and out comes a different color. The only thing that you need to be careful of is how often you double dip. Oils from our eyelids can be carried onto an eyeshadow brush allowing bacteria to go in. As these oils mix and your brushes are dipped back and forth through different colors, make sure you clean your eyeshadows by taking a butter knife and lightly scraping off the top layer into the trash can. Once the top layer is gone, you’ll see brand new pigment underneath. You’re welcome.


Eye Liners

When it expires: Liquid Eyeliners Approximately 4-6 months.  Pencil Liners: Approximately 1-2 years.

When it needs to go: This one is also an easy one and one that you should be changing out regularly. When an eyeliner goes bad, you’ll notice that the texture is different (usually hard and doesn’t glide as smoothly), as well as the smell and color. Also, get a new one if you previously had an eye infection! Many of us forget and think it’s okay to go back and reuse eye products even after an infection. Pencil liners are the way to go and usually contain much more product. They are also easy to clean: simply sharpen it. By sharpening, you are refreshing your pencil liner and starting fresh, throwing away the used, outer layer.



When it expires: Approximately 3 months

When it needs to go: When it starts to get clumpy, dry, or changes in color; not to mention its smell too. Although mascaras have a very distinct smell to them already, you’ll know when one is becoming foul. Being extra careful with your mascara and eyeliner is crucial if you don’t want an eye infection. 



Does Vaseline expire? Yes, it does; but not for a long while though. Vaseline has the longest shelf life of all health and beauty products! We wanted this one on the list because everyone has Vaseline sitting around somewhere. Since Vaseline is made of petroleum jelly, it never changes its form. As long as you keep it at room temperature, your tub of Vaseline can last for up to 6 years. Just make sure you use a new Q-Tip when you need some, not your fingers!

One last, official tip: Don’t forget to clean your makeup brushesthis includes foundation sponges! Many of us forget this step. Our makeup brushes are exposed to air almost all of the time. Think of all the debris that builds up on the bristles along with the old product you never washed away last time.  Clean those babies and your skin will thank you!

We hope that you find these tips helpful and that you’ll be adding them to your beauty regime soon!

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