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Makeup products are perishable and cannot last forever. Each makeup product has an expiration date. Expired makeup products may be harmful to your skin and lead to irritation. When should you throw away the Makeup products? Here are some tips for you.

PAO icons set. Shelf life symbols illustration

(1) Expiration Date and Period After Opening (PAO)

All makeup products have an expiration date. Expiration date means the shelf life of a product in the unopened primary container that indicated on the product label. Do you know the meaning of “open jar symbol” on makeup product labels? The open jar symbol is known as “Period After Opening (PAO)”, which indicates the period of time that a product remains suitable for use after its primary container has been opened. If Period After Opening symbol shows “12M”, it means 12 months.

Portrait of a woman on a white background.

(2) Smelly, Changed Colour and Separation

When the smell of makeup products becomes odd, it is a sign that bacteria are growing in the products. You should stop to use the products immediately. If your makeup product changes colour or separates, it means the chemical composition is changed and breaking down. It is time to throw away.

Luxurious feminine make up and cosmetic still life. Nail polish, beige foundation, lipstick and flowers isolated on white background.

(3) Layering of Colours

If your makeup products like liquid foundation or nail polish become several layers of different colours, you should throw them away. The layering of colours means the lifespan of the makeup product is the end.

Mascara brush stroke and liquid eyeliner isolated on background (with clipping path)

(4) Short Shelf Life Makeup Products

Some types of makeup products have a shorter shelf life. For example, mascara tube provides a humid environment for bacteria as a breeding ground. As mascara goes bad faster, bacteria spread easily when you are applying to your eyes. It may cause eye irritation or infection. You are recommended to replace it every 3 months. Therefore, the lifespan of mascara, liquid eyeliner and lip gloss are relatively short.


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