How Long Does it Last? A Guide to Cleaning and Throwing Out Old Makeup!

The bottom line is there is no way to tell how old that cosmetic item just by looking at the package. Cosmetics aren’t required by law to have expiration dates. From the time you open it, the life and effectiveness of the product decreases and the amount of bacteria increases.

Treat makeup products with care.
Keep cosmetics in a dry, cool area.
Throw makeup away if the color changes or an odor develops. Makeup has preservatives, similar to that in food, which can break down over time.
Get neat, clean and organized. Nothing lasts forever. For example:
When in doubt throw it out!

Eye Shadow
Powder last 1 to 2 years, cream 6 months to 1 year

Pencil lasts 2 years, liquid lasts 3 to 6 months

Lipstick / Lip gloss
1 year (Throw it out if it gets dry or develops a smell)

Liquid Foundation
6 months to 1 year

6 to 8 months

3 to 6 months

2 to 3 years

Skin/body lotions
2 to 3 Years

Anti-aging products
3 to 6 months

Bath Oils
1 Year

Shampoos and conditioners
3 years

Shaving creams
2 Years

Hair products
3 to 5 years

1 year

Facial cleansers & moisturizers
6 months

Facial toners
1 year

Natural Cosmetics (“all-natural body washes”, etc.)
6 months, as “all natural” products often contain plant-derived ingredients (which are conducive to bacterial growth) and/or products with no preservatives.

Other tell tale signs your product has gone bad
The pigment fades in your powder
The item dries out
It smells funny
Becomes clumpy or has a strange consistency
The product crystalizes or separates