When To Toss Your Makeup

When was the last time you gave your makeup purse a clean out? That mascara you’ve been holding on to since last year’s gift-with-purchase might be breading nasty bacteria. Here’s the ultimate guide to your makeup’s shelf life.

Remember, toss any makeup that smells bad or has discoloured. It’s not worth the health of your eyes and skin!


Use by date: 3 months. The eyes are one of the most bacteria-prone areas because of their wetness so mascara is definitely a product not to hold on to.


Use by date: 2 years. Sharpen between uses to keep your pencils fresh.

Eye shadow

Use by date: Up to 2 years. Keep your eye shadows fresh by cleaning your brushes regularly (see below).

Liquid foundation and concealer

Use by date: 6-12 months. Keep your fingers away from the product to keep it germ-free, and store in a cool place. Use a clean sponge or brush instead of fingers.

Blush and bronzer

Use by date: Up to 9 months. Always use a clean brush to apply (see below).

Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm

Use by date: Up to 1 year. Since we constantly apply lip products to our lips or using our fingers, bacteria can breed quickly on these products. Apply with a lip brush when possible to extend the shelf life.

How to clean your brushes

The best way to help your makeup last longer is by applying your makeup with brushes. That way you can clean your brushes regularly instead of tossing away expensive makeup.

Wet the brush in a bowl of warm water with a pea-size amount of gentle face cleanser added. Swirl around, and if the water gets dirty empty the bowl and repeat. Rinse in clear water to get all the cleanser out, making sure you hold the brush with the bristles pointing down, then lay flat on a towel until dry.