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Lifting the lid on make-up expiration

Lifting the lid on make-up expiration

Do you remember the last time you gave your make-up bag a good clean out? If it’s been more than a few months, there’s a chance that some of the products may have expired. While it’s hard to part with your favourite mascara and lipsticks, abiding by make-up expirations dates is important because cosmetics can trap bacteria, which over time may lead to skin irritation, eye infections and breakouts. Most products have a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol printed on them, which indicates a typical shelf life. But what if you can’t find a PAO symbol on your products? Here’s all you need to know about make-up expiration dates.

Mascara: 3 months

Mascara should be replaced every three months, or earlier if it turns clumpy, in order to avoid eye infections. To avoid hastening the life of your mascara, never pump the wand as this can push air into the tube, causing the product to dry out faster.

Liquid and gel eyeliner: 3-4 months

Just like mascara, bacteria can flourish in liquid eyeliner tubes and gel eyeliner pots, meaning that they should only be used for a couple of month before being tossed.

Pencil eyeliner: 12 months

On the other hand, eyeliner pencils have a much longer shelf life because you can create a fresh surface each time you sharpen them. Just be sure to regularly sanitise your sharpener with rubbing alcohol.

Foundation: 6-24 months

The life of a foundation often depends on its packaging – foundation in a pot expires in about six months, whereas a pump product can last 12-24 months. If you notice your foundation starts to separate at all, toss it immediately.

Eyeshadow, blush and other powders: 12-24 months

Powder typically has a much longer life than wet formulas, and can be kept in your make-up bag for up to two years. But it’s wise to check them periodically, and throw out if the formula or colour changes in any way.

Lipstick: 12-24months

Lipsticks can be potential reservoirs for bacteria, but also dry out with age. A change in colour or texture is a dead giveaway that the formula is off. If you’re concerned about keeping your lipsticks clean, regularly wipe them off and spray with a little alcohol to keep them sanitised.

Natural products: 3-12 months

While organic beauty products are made with pure ingredients from plants, flowers and foods, it also means that they usually have less preservatives, and may go bad quicker. If you notice any change in scent or appearance, cease use immediately.

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