Are You Using Expired Makeup or Skincare?!

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Do you know where to look for expiration dates on your beauty products? Did you even know beauty products HAVE expiration dates?

I’ve talked about this in past videos but with the start of the new year, I want to remind you to check the dates on your products.

Most products have the date directly on the bottle itself, but sometimes it’s only on the outer packaging. The date is often placed inside a “container looking” shape and is followed by an “m”, meaning months.

12m, 24m, and 30m are pretty common timelines of product expirations. And that number starts counting down when the product is first exposed to air, not necessarily when you bought it.

The placement of the expiration date is usually about the same whether it’s on makeup or haircare.

If you aren’t able to find an expiration date on your product, a good rule of thumb is to replace it in about a year. In general, though, the products that need to be replaced first at the ones that come into contact with your body and then are returned to the container.

For example, a mascara wand is removed from the tube, used on the eye, and then replaced into the tube. With the wand goes any and all bacteria or junk that may be near or in your eye. And then the bacteria lives its life in the mascara tube. A common timeline for replacing mascara is about 1-3 months depending on use.

Other products that should be replaced somewhat regularly are lipsticks or glosses, and concealers that have an applicator wand.

Conversely, hairspray and a good amount of aerosol products can last a really long time!

So what is the easiest way you can track the expiration timeline?

Keep a sharpie in your bathroom drawer and write the month and year that you opened the container on the bottom or side of the bottle. You can also use a label maker, like this one that I love, if you’d like to be fancy.

If at any time you find a beauty product you are using to smell different or look different, it may be best to toss it.

On a similar note, if you find yourself with unopened or unused products that you don’t want anymore, check into your local women’s shelter and see if they accept donations!

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Comments (13)

  1. KIM FORBES says
    Posted January 6, 2020

    Hi Kate,

    First of all I LOVE your blog. I wanted to see if you could do a nice sunkissed makeup look for the winter? I am feeling washed out and just need a pick me up. I love the look when you are on the beach and get your cheeks pink from the sun and just how healthy you look! If you could do this could you include bronzer, blush, lipstick, the whole look? Thanks so much! Also I have coloring like you.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 6, 2020

      Thanks for the idea kim! I’ll try to do that!

  2. Eleanor Mullen says
    Posted January 6, 2020

    How about perfumes Kate? I’m never sure 🤷‍♀️

    • Kate says
      Posted January 6, 2020

      It’s probably on the box the perfume came in, but you probably don’t have that anymore do you? I certainly don’t keep mine! I’d try to google the exact perfume you have to see if you can see an image of the packaging, or find the details in the description of the product!

  3. Tiffany says
    Posted January 6, 2020

    Do you know of any make up recycling programs? I have a ton of old stuff but I would like to keep if out of a landfill…if such a thing exists.

    • Erin says
      Posted January 6, 2020

      Bare minerals takes empties. If you have an account with them you get bonus points for bringing in your empty make up.

    • Tiffany Marie says
      Posted January 6, 2020

      BareMinerals does makeup recycling and they don’t have to be their products. You also get points for free stuff if you are a rewards member.

    • Anna S says
      Posted January 8, 2020

      You can trade in 6 empty MAC cosmetics or skincare containers for recycling to any MAC counter or store and get a free lipstick! The program is called Back to MAC and I haven’t paid for lipstick in 9 years!

  4. Sydney says
    Posted January 6, 2020

    How bad is it to still use expired make up? If I’m not having any sort of reaction, is it ok to still use it?

  5. Bees says
    Posted January 6, 2020

    Thank you for the info! I had no idea what that little symbol meant! I must have blinked and missed it when you talked about it before.

    I’ve been following you when you were still working behind the chair and I’m so excited that your blog is such a success! God’s best blessings to you in 2020!

  6. Annie K says
    Posted January 6, 2020

    Thanks, Kate! I really like this type of information. I don’t always think of these small details, but can really put them to use.

  7. Emily Wakefield says
    Posted January 10, 2020

    Between this post and Naptime Kitchen’s Refresh Series, I have done a lot of amazing purging of foods & products that are expired or that I know I won’t use!

  8. Maureen says
    Posted January 11, 2020

    I feel like I’m so good about cycling through old make up, with the exception of lipstick! I will often keep a lipstick for a couple of years. Not lipgloss, just lipstick. Anyway, today’s the first day I realized those could expire…