Do you even know how to find the expiration date on makeup? It’s actually super easy and this is why you should be checking…
It’s common sense that we probably shouldn’t use some things after they expire. For instance, we tend to toss food and perishable items the second they go bad.
Food is a given, especially perishable food. Would you really want to consume something that could be filled with bacteria that will make you sick to your stomach? Furthermore, could you even stomach milk that starts to curdle?
Medications are a bit more lax, but they do tend to lose their potency after their expiration date. So what about makeup?
Although it’s not best practice to use expired makeup at all, the effects vary from product to product. Let me explain…
What Happens to Expired Makeup?
The inspiration for this post comes from my recent experience with the Anastacia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade.
I purchased this product in January of last year and I use it almost every day. However, it’s becoming a lot harder to apply than I remember it being when I first purchased it.
I figured that maybe it was drying out from using it every day, and purchased a new container of this product. Lo and behold, the two products are completely different. My friend showed me how to find the expiration date on makeup, and I am mind blown.
This was just one example of using expired makeup. When makeup gets old, it might not apply the way it’s supposed to. It could dry out, get clumpier, change textures, or even become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Here are some of the common problems found in expired makeup:
- Lipstick – can become hard, moldy, crumbly and difficult to apply.
- Mascara and eyeliner – can develop nasty bacteria that could cause eye irritation or an infection. Mascara can also become dry and flaky.
- Foundation – can separate, which makes it harder to apply than it once was. Since the oils tend to rise to the top, you are typically going to get more breakouts when using expired foundation. It can also grow bacteria from constant contact with your fingers.
- Blush and eyeshadow- can become harder to apply, but typically no serious consequences (although the cream versions of these products won’t last as long as powder). Make sure to look for signs of mold, separation or foul smell.
Is It Bad to Use Expired Makeup?
In extreme cases, using expired makeup could cause redness, irritation, breakouts, or even infections. However, most of the time, it’s probably fine to keep using the product after the expiration date.
However, experts do recommend that eyeliner and mascara expiration dates be taken seriously since they come in close contact with your eyes. The truth is that the product probably won’t work as well past their expiration date anyways.
What Happens When You Use Expired Makeup?
Like noted above, some more serious side effects could occur. When the molecules of the product break down, they can seriously irritate your skin.
Inflammation, contact dermatitis, bumps, rashes, and even blisters could occur. The bacteria in mascara and eyeliner can cause infections like pinkeye and blepharitis.
Additionally, benefits like sun protection, retinol for lines, and salicylic acid for acne may not be as effective, rendering the products ineffective.
How to Find The Expiration Date on Makeup:
It’s actually pretty simple. Most products have a POA (Period After Opening) symbol on them, that tells you how long the product is good for, from the time you first opened the product.
The number, plus the letter ‘M’ tell you how many months you can safely use the product. Keep in mind, that this assumes that you are using clean brushes, not sharing with friends, or re-using the product after an infection.
The POA symbol was first used in 2005 by the European Commission, for products with a 30-month or more shelf-life. If products have a short shelf-life, it should be noted on the symbol.
Although this symbol is not required in the United States, it is now commonly used, as the FDA requires manufacturers to ensure that their products are safe for consumers.
What If I Can’t Find The POA Symbol?
Here are some general guidelines:
- Foundation and Concealer – 1 year
- Powder, blush, and eyeshadow – 1-2 years
- Brow pencils and lip liners – 2 years
- Mascara – 3-6 months
- Eyeliner – 6 months to 1 year
- Lipstick – 1-2 years
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Want to read more about makeup? Check out 6 legitimate ways to get free high-end makeup!
Did you know how to find the expiration date on makeup? Have you been using expired makeup? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below…
With an extensive knowledge of hair color science and over 12 years as a licensed cosmetologist working in the hair industry, Hollee feels the need to share her passion for beauty with the world. She specializes in hair color science, hairstyles, hair hacks, hair knowledge, and how things work in the hair industry. She enjoys sharing her expertise and helping people achieve their personal hair goals.