healthy makeup

A Healthy Guide to Makeup Expiration Dates

A Healthy Guide to Makeup Expiration Dates

A lot of client’s ask me, “when does makeup expire?” This is a tricky one because the majority of makeup doesn’t come with an expiry date on the container. So here are a few general rules to follow regarding expiry dates to help you + your makeup bag stay healthy + beautiful! PS: don’t miss the “secret” label that’s often overlooked mentioned at the very end of this blog.



3 Months.

When mascara dries out or gets clumpy, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, says optometrist Jennifer Giermek of N.Y.C.'s Naked Eye Optical.

Primer + foundation:

12-24 months. 

Nail polish:

1-2 years.

Heat and direct sunlight will make your polish separate and become discolored faster, so store your lacquers upright in a cool, dry place. -Byrdie 

Natural products:

3-6 months.

Think of your natural, preservative-free cosmetics as food, Greenberg says. “If you keep them in your refrigerator they’ll last a little longer, but the natural stuff is going to go way quicker”. Jamie Greenberg, celebrity makeup artist. 


Eye Shadow

3-6 months.

Powder shadows should be replaced often since they’re used around your eyes.


Liquid or gel: 3 months. Pencil: 2 years.

Pencil eyeliners last longer when sharpened regularly.


1 year.

Stop pumping your lipgloss, immediately. This forces air into the tube, which dries out your beloved product and facilitates bacterial contamination. Instead, slowly move the wand in a circular motion whilst in the tube for full coverage. -Cosmopolitan


2 years.

Powder blushes will be the longest lasting color cosmetic in your makeup bag!


PRO TIP: look for the PAO label.

The US currently doesn't require cosmetics to have an expiration date by law but some bottles do have a PAO (or "Period After Opening") symbol, which includes the number of months a product is safe to use after it has been unsealed.


So, any surprises? Did you know about the PAO label?

Leave us a comment below!

Thank you Annie Spratt for the use of these beautiful photos.