How old is that mascara you put on this morning? No clue? You do know most cosmetics eventually expire, right?? According to the FDA, make up expiration is not black and white but there are general guidelines. Let’s run through some of the basics.

Cosmetic Array - Pre Expiration

1. Mascara 

Mascara should be replaced every 2-3 months. If there is a gasoline-like odor, toss it. Do NOT add water to try to revitalize dry product. If you have pink eye or any other eye infection, replace immediately.

2. Liquid Foundation 

Anywhere between 6-12 months once seal is broken. If the foundation seems to be thicker or there is any variation in smell, discard immediately.

3. Concealer 

In powder or stick form, concealer can last up to two years; toss liquid concealer after a year. However, if you are using concealer on acne or any other facial outbreak, you should replace monthly OR apply with a disposable applicator.

4. Eye Liner 

Replace liquid eye liner every 6 months; pencil has a longer life but remember to sharpen regularly to remove bacteria. Just like mascara, if you have pink eye or any other eye infection, replace immediately.

5. Lip Products 

Toss after a year or if you’ve been ill. If lip-gloss is “separating”, toss it. It’s embarrassing how many of my lip products have met their demise after only a use or two because they were so old.

6. Sunscreen Expiration

Sunscreen is the one product that should always have a printed expiration date. Thought, generally good for three years, the lotion can make the printed date rub off. Sunscreens are usually effective for six months after their expiration but, if you squeeze some out and it seems to have separated or looks or smells funny, play it safe and toss the whole bottle.

7. Brushes

Brushes don’t technically “expire” but it’s a good idea to wipe your brushes on a dry paper towel or washcloth after every use. You should more thoroughly wash your brushes twice a month using a gentle baby shampoo (hey, they’re hair too, right?) or other brush cleansing agent.

8. Sponges

Like brushes, there is no actual expiration date for make-up sponges. However, unless you’re using a high quality makeup sponge, two uses is the max; one side, then the other. Remember to wash your quality sponge AT LEAST once a week.

Most products do not have a printed expiration date. When you first open the product, use a fine point Sharpie to write the date. The oil-based or paint Sharpies are great because it will show on a black background.