Expired Makeup Breaking You Out? Insider Tips To Start Fresh This 2021!

By: Clara Siew / January 21, 2021
Categories : Makeup, Makeup Tips

It’s almost a month into 2021 but it’s not too late to start sprucing up your makeup stash! Although it can be heartbreaking to throw away expired makeup, using them continuously can actually do more harm than good. Also, due to the pandemic, personal hygiene is now more important than ever. Besides, cosmetics are notorious for trapping bacteria which can ultimately lead to skin irritations, acne breakouts and even eye infections. To aid you on your spring cleaning crusade for 2021, we’ll be sharing our Insider Tips for a fresh start this new year!

The health hazards of using expired makeup


First of all, let’s take a look at what can actually happen if you continue using contaminated or expired makeup. Besides increasing the risk of skin irritations like contact dermatitis, rashes and acne breakouts, it can also potentially cause eye infections and conjunctivitis. Additionally, it may also even cause allergic reactions which can make the skin or eyes appear red and puffy. Also imagine reapplying your favourite lipstick or lip gloss right after every meal. You can just imagine the amount of food particles, skin cells and bacteria that builds up and festers in your products over time! Moreover, makeup kept in damp places like the bathroom can run the risk of growing mold and causing nose and throat irritations.

How do I know if I’m using expired makeup?


Although sanitizing your makeup products regularly can prevent bacteria buildup, some products are simply just not safe to use anymore. Besides, old makeup won’t be as effective as it once was because ingredients start to break down or dry up over time. Generally, you also want to steer clear of any makeup that smells “off” and/or is starting to change in texture. Moreover, pencil products tend to last longer since you are able to sharpen them on a regular basis. To help you determine the best time to toss your makeup products, we’ll be breaking them down into different categories. We’ll also be sharing some Insider Tips to help you extend the shelf life of your products!

Makeup TypeExpiration Date
Liquid and cream products
(e.g. liquid or cream foundation, concealer, blusher or contour)
12 – 18 months
Powder products
(e.g. setting powder, powder blusher, powder contour, powder highlighter)
18 – 24 months
Pencil products
(e.g. eyeliner pencil, lip liner pencil, eyebrow pencil)
12 – 18 months
Lip products (lipstick, lip gloss, liquid lipstick)12 – 18 months
Liquid eyeliner and mascara3 months

Foundations and concealer


Usually, foundations or concealers that come with pump dispensers are more hygienic than those that require direct contact with tools and fingers. However, once your liquid foundation or concealer starts to separate, it’s time to give them the toss. Liquid textures start to separates when ingredients break down and the preservatives lose their efficacy. So even if a liquid product is not yet at its expiration date, a change in texture and scent is your cue to throw them out.

Insider Tips:

  • Keep your foundations and concealers away from direct sunlight and heat as this can accelerate the breakdown and separation of ingredients.
  • Avoid touching your cream foundations and concealers directly with fingertips. Instead, use a clean spatula to take how much you need.

Lip products


When it comes to lip products of any kind, double dipping is a huge no-no. Especially when you’re applying the product directly onto your lips. Since lip products come into contact with our mouths and saliva, it is important that you toss them if you find that you’re recovering a cold or infection. Even if your lip product is not yet at its expiration date, it’s best not to take any chances. Also, a lipstick that is starting to appear dry and crumbly is also an indicator that it is no longer effective. Also, it’s a good idea to toss your liquid lipsticks and lip glosses once they start to smell bad and separate in their tubes.

Insider Tips:

  • To sanitize your lipstick bullet, dip it in 70% alcohol and shave off the top layer with a clean blade or dental floss.
  • Use a clean spatula to take the amount of product you need instead of applying your lip products directly onto your lips.

Eye makeup

Now when it comes to cream, gel and liquid eye makeup, it is important to give them the toss after about 3 months. Since the eyes are very sensitive, you really don’t want to run the risk of getting a painful eye infection from your expired mascara or gel and liquid eyeliners! Also, if you notice that your mascara is starting to smell rancid and appear clumpy, it’s time to give it the toss! On the other hand, eye pencils generally last much longer since you can sharpen them immediately after each use.

Insider Tips:

  • Never ever share your mascara or eye makeup products with anyone as it can increase the risk of eye infections!
  • Use a clean fan brush to apply your mascara and avoid double dipping to prevent and minimize contamination.
  • You can use a clean spatula to take the amount of gel eyeliner you need.

Powders of all kinds


Unlike liquid and cream products, powder cosmetics can last up to 2 years depending on how well you store them. However, once they start to dry out and be ineffective, it’s time to give throw them out. Also, dipping dirty makeup brushes into your powder palettes is a major faux pas as that can lead to a buildup of sebum, dead skin cells and acne-causing bacteria. Although face, blush, highlight and contour powders last quite long, eyeshadow powders have a shorter shelf life since they are constantly in contact with the eyes.

Insider Tips:

  • Sanitize your powder products by spritzing them regularly with 70% alcohol.
  • Always wash your makeup brushes and only use clean brushes to dip into your powder products.
  • Store your powder products in a cool and dry place to keep mold and bacteria at bay.

Want more Insider Tips? Click here to find out how you can disinfect your makeup bag and daily essentials! Or here if you want a step-by-step guide to properly clean your makeup brushes!

Author: Clara Siew | Date: 21st Jan 2021