Consumer Affairs says bad makeup can harbor nasty bacteria, and can lead to such unpleasant face decorations as conjuctivitis or peri-oral dermatitis (little red bumps that look like acne). They suggest you tattoo permanent eyeliner and lipstick so you don’t have to worry about makeup. No, wait, that’s what we suggest. They actually suggest throwing out your eye makeup and liquid foundations after three months, powders after a year, and application sponges after a week. Oh, and smell your makeup: “An unusual odor usually means that it contains bacteria.”
A few months ago we pointed out 77 expiration dates for food, beauty, and household products. About.com also provides a detailed list of shelf lives of various types of makeup. Some of their advice:
Foundation A water-based foundation will last up to 12 months, oil-based will last up to 18 months. If your water-based foundation dries out before its expiration date, simply add a few drops of alcohol-free toner and shake to mix it in.
Lipstick Experts say 1-2 years. Others say up to 4 years. What everyone agrees on is that if it smells rancid, throw it out, it’s spoiled. Extra tip: If you store lipstick in the refrigerator, it will last longer.
Mascara This product expires the fastest: Throw out after 4 months. Extra tip: If you don’t want your mascara to expire faster than its fresh date, don’t pump the wand in and out — you’re only exposing the product to drying air.
Or is this stuff that all women already know? We found it fascinating for a few seconds, but now we’re bored again.
Shelf Life of Makeup & Beauty Products
Old Make-Up Can Harbor Bacteria [Consumer Affairs]