Know When to Discard your Makeup


Know when to discard your makeup


Yeah, you read it right. I know that the title of this post looks very disheartening! But you MUST discard your old makeup for the sake of your skin and hygiene. While using old makeup would not make you literally sick, it might lead to break-outs, irritation, fungal infections and eye infections.

While most of the products come with an expiry date, the PAO (period after opening) might not be specified on each product that you own! The symbol is a jar with an open lid and a number followed by a letter written inside the jar indicating when to discard it! The letter is usually an “M” for month or “Y” for year. So if you see “18 M” on the symbol that means the product will last up to 18 months after it has been opened.


makeup product shelf life


Sometimes the “SYMPTOMS” of an expired makeup may be very obvious. Like cracks on a powder compact, thickening of nail polish, separation of liquid foundation, foul smell in lipsticks and eye shadows. But these would probably be considered as the EXTREME cases of your makeup products gone bad.

While it is very difficult to let go the expensive makeup that you have invested on, it is more important to discard it for your own hygiene. We tend to give excuses to ourselves like, “I might need this someday”; “This shade suits me a lot”; “More than half of the product is still left to use”. But the fact that those cosmetics have EXPIRED remains unchanged!

It is better to spend money on buying new cosmetics than to visit a dermatologist due to the skin problems your old makeup is giving you!

So following is the list of makeup products along with the time period after which you must toss it. Should I try to make it more painful to read-THROW YOUR COSMETICS IN THE DUSTBIN


  1. Mascara-3 to 4 months
  2. Kajal/kohl – 3 to 4 months
  3. Pencil Liners-5 to 6 months (this indicates the time for retractable ones. You may use the sharpening ones as long as they don’t expire. Sharpening them removes the bacteria)
  4. Cream eye shadow-12 months
  5. Powder eye shadows-18-24 months
  6. Liquid eye liners-4-5 months


expired makeup products



  1. Liquid/Cream Foundation -12 months
  2. Mineral Foundation -24 months
  3. Liquid/Cream Concealer-12 months
  4. Mineral Concealer -24 months
  5. Powder Blushes-18-24 months
  6. Cream Blushes-12 months
  7. Mineral Blushes-18-24 months
  8. Loose Powder-24 months
  9. Pressed Powder- 36 months


face makeup products expiry



  1. Lip liners-5 to 6 months (this indicates the time for retractable ones. You may use the sharpening ones as long as they don’t expire. Sharpening them removes the bacteria)
  2. Lipsticks-12 months
  3. Lip glosses-8 months


discard expired lipsticks



Apart from these, you must also take care of the following:

  1. Clean your blushes periodically. Read about cleaning the brushes here.
  2. Don’t share your lipsticks, lip glosses, kajals etc. These are most commonly shared and may spread bacteria and virus like herpes.
  3. If you have used any eye make-up product during an eye infection, discard it immediately.
  4. Remember this rhyme “WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!!!”
  5. Try to label every product when you first use it so that you can know when to toss it!

If I have missed any product, please feel free to write about it in the comments section.

I know it is very difficult to throw away cosmetics just like that, but it’s better for them to sit in the dustbin rather than sitting on your skin and causing infections!

Hope you find this post informative and helpful!

How often do you throw away makeup?

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  1. Yes yar…all skin care and makeup items shouldd come at least with 3 years usability clause…i.e.expiry only after completion of 36 months from It is very disheartning when we have to discard some product and it is not even half used 🙁

  2. Super nice post Princa :yes: Am scared of using expired products which is the main reason I don’t like hoarding. 🙁 Expired products with cute packaging go into a box that I take out n stare at every once in a while lol :silly:


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