“3 months?!!” That’s what I thought when I first heard how long you should keep your makeup. That seemed like a very short time for something that can be very expensive! When should you throw out your makeup? That was something that I wanted to know so that I didn’t throw them away and waste money but also before they started to get gross and full of bacteria.
I love to save money on makeup so making sure I keep it for as long as I can is important to make sure that I get my money’s worth. This is even more important if you are a fan of high end makeup which can get very pricey.
I did some research and seemed to find a consensus that most beauty experts agree on. When you throw out your makeup depends on a variety of factors: what kind of makeup it is, how you apply it, and how you store it.
If you apply it with a brush instead of your fingers, it will last longer. Using your fingers to apply your makeup can increase the amount of bacteria that gets introduced to your cosmetics. Use a clean makeup brush to apply it and it will increase the life of your makeup.
I recommend cleaning your brushes at least once a week. You can use my DIY makeup brush cleaner to save money on that.
Here is the approximate life span of your makeup depending on the category:
If you keep your creams and lotions in an airtight container like a pump bottle, they will last for about 2 years. If they are kept in a regular jar, they will only be good for a year.
Always wash your hands before you put them in your jar of cream to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
If your skin care contains retinol or Vitamin C, store it in a cool dark place, like your fridge. This will help keep the formulas stable and prevent exposure to sunlight and oxygen. Retinol formulas can be kept for a year and Vitamin C formulas can be kept for 6 months.
You can usually keep facial peels, scrubs, oils, and serums for up to 2 years.
Powders can stay bacteria free for a long time since they don’t contain water. You can usually keep powdered foundation, shadows, highlighters, and blush for about 2 years. After that, they may start to fade and have a streaky look.
Just make sure you keep your powder brushes clean.
Lipsticks and glosses can last up to 2 years. After that they may oxidize and start changing color. They will also start to dry up and can’t be applied as smoothly.
This is where you have to be very careful and vigilant about throwing out expired makeup. You don’t want to get bacteria in your eye and have it cause an infection.
You should toss mascara after 3 months of use. Also, try not to pump the wand as it will make the formula dry out faster.
Liquid and pen eyeliners should also be replaced after 3 months. You can keep automatic pencil eyeliner for 6 months and wooden ones for up to two years. Since you sharpen them, it creates a clean tip. Just make sure to clean your pencil sharpener after each use with rubbing alcohol.
If you like using creamy makeup like foundation, concealer, blush, or shadows, they can last up to a year if you apply them with your makeup brush.
If you use your fingers to apply, you should toss them after 6 months. Keep them stored in a cool place as heat and humidity can encourage bacteria growth.
I know hair care isn’t makeup but I thought it would be worth mentioning. If you keep the bottles closed and keep them in a place where the temperature is consistent, even your shower, your shampoo, conditioner, and stylers will stay good for a year.
Hair sprays in an aerosol can will last for two years. So stock up when they are having a sale on the jumbo sizes!
This can be a lot to remember so I wanted to make it easier for you to remember when to toss out your makeup. I created a printable sheet that you can keep in your makeup bag or drawer to help you keep everything straight.
I also created some printable labels that you can use to put on each of your cosmetic items so you will remember when to throw that one away.
Both of these free printables are available for you here. Just sign up and they will be emailed to your inbox.
I hope they can keep your makeup germ free and maybe save you a little bit of money since you won’t be throwing out items before you need to.
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