Proper Makeup Care & Safety

Submitted By: Cassandra Frank

When is it Time to Throw Out Your Makeup?

All make up expires at some point and should be discarded due to health and quality concerns. Despite preservatives, bacteria will grow in makeup especially if it has not been stored properly. Bacteria can cause several mild and more severe health issues which are easily avoidable. Old makeup also lacks the smoothness and quality of new, bacteria free, makeup.

Old makeup can cause new or more severe skin problems such as mild rashes and acne. If you are experiencing an increase in either of these symptoms there is a chance that it is time to toss your old make-up.

There are some very clear visual signs that your makeup is too old:

  • Cracks appear in your powder or compact
  • Liquid foundation begins to separate
  • Sponges look dirty or soiled
  • Creams or mascara begin to dry out
  • Eyeliner becomes crumbly
  • Gloss becomes goopy
  • Brushes start losing hairs and their stiffness
  • Product changes color

Remember, if anything smells bad or looks “off” it should be tossed right away.

The Life Span of Makeup

Below are the suggested lifespans of various products, after this time makeup should be thrown out:

  • -Lipstick & Lip liner: 1 year
  • -Foundation (liquid): 6 months after opening
  • -Eyeliner (pencil): 2 years, sharpening helps remove bacteria
  • -Eyeliner (liquid): 6 months
  • -Mascara: 3 months, no exceptions!
  • -Eye Shadow (powder): 18 months - 2 years
  • -Eye Shadow (liquid): 1 year
  • -Blushes & Powders: 18 months – 2 years
  • -Concealer: 1 year
  • -Sponges: 1-2 months
  • -Brushes: 2 years, if cleaned with a mild soap or shampoo on a weekly basis

Sharing Makeup

To make it short and sweet, do NOT share makeup! Especially avoid sharing products that are used on the eyes and lips where infections are more likely. Sharing eye makeup most often leads to the spreading of a very contagious infection called pink eye. Pink eye causes the eyes to become red, itchy and watery for up to two weeks which can be treated with eye drops. Sharing lip makeup can lead to the spreading of a more serious virus, the herpes simplex virus which causes cold sores. There is no cure for the herpes simplex virus and it can be spread even if the carrier does not have any visible sores. Just one incidence of sharing your lipstick can lead to a lifetime of contending with the condition if you contract the virus.

Tester products in the mall or at your local drug store are meant to be used on your hands and never your face, eyes or lips. The purpose of the tester is to compare the color with the skin on the back of your hand. If you choose to sample tester products, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after use.



About the Author

Cassandra Frank is Alberta's Athletes' Representative. She twirled competitively for eight years with Loranne Meek, and has been coaching for five years. Her most memorable twirling moment is winning BN Solodance at her first nationals.

Thanks to Cassandra for supplying the very first article!