This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Does makeup expire?

A few minutes spent at a natural foods store cosmetic counter and I'm like a kid in a candy store.  I want one of  everything, please.  I love to buy new cosmetics.  I like to have several lipsticks to choose from, depending upon my mood, outfit, and tan-ness (is that a word?)  Once I find a product that works I like to stick with it.  I can guarantee that I will be that old woman with the lipstick bleeding into her mouth wrinkles - the very dated hot pink lipstick that clashes with skin tone, outfit, and age by a few decades.  I just hope that though my look may be past its prime my make up isn't.

All cosmetics have expiration dates.

Sadly, not all cosmetics print their expiration dates on the packaging because they aren't required by law to do so.  Ironically it may be even more important to check your makeup for signs of deteriorating because anything you rub on your skin bypasses the liver and goes right into the ol' bloodstream without benefit of a filter.  Any bacteria, fungus, or viruses growing in your make up get rubbed right into your skin.  Here are a few commonly used items and when they should get replaced:

I love lipstick, and I do mean LOVE lipstick.  It hurts my heart to have to throw out a good lipstick, especially if I can't find the color again or if the new batch of color just somehow doesn't look as good as the old. I still haven't quite recovered from Burt's Bees changing their line of lip shimmers and not carrying my favorite shades.   Lipstick begins to chemically break down within 1-2 years.  I have usually lost my lipstick before this 2 year date approached, but you may be more organized than me, especially if you have a few colors that tend to stay in the drawer.  If you've had 'em longer than 2 years, toss them.

Now for mascara - poor mascara.  With a shelf life of only about 4 months before it has received so much air exposure that it is drying out/clumping/growing all sorts of bacteria/flaking off your lashes it is definitely the purchase we should make most often.  Until I learned about cosmetics expiring I could not have told you the last time I bought a new mascara.  Now that I know I try to remember to buy mascara more often but the one I'm using right now?  I couldn't tell you how old it other words I should replace it.

Foundation/pressed powders can be tricky.  I use mineral makeup as a combined foundation and powder.  I use it up about every 8-10 months so I haven't been too worried about it expiring, I get more concerned about the makeup brushes I use.  Brushes need to be washed every 2-3 months but if you use a makeup sponge it should be washed daily and thrown out after a week.  When I used cosmetic sponges and liquid foundation I used a new sponge every day because my skin has a tendency to break out and I didn't want any extra bacteria causing me problems.  I also threw out my foundation when it was time to change colors with the seasons because I like to be tan, despite all health warnings to the contrary.

The more natural the cosmetic (which probably means the more expensive the cosmetic) the more quickly it will expire because it won't have as many preservatives.  This week I'll be blogging about some natural recipes that can replace some beauty care products so that being natural doesn't get so expensive.  But for now go find that make up bag and if you still see your frosty blue eyeshadow in it -- toss it out.


Anonymous said...

I am so interested to hear the future blogs as I am so allergic to mascara. The only one I can wear for a few hours is Lancome and might I add the price is just to up there so I haven't worn any for years. Can wait to read abou the natural finds.

Anonymous said...

I use the Once Opened Beauty Expiration Kit to date my products. Common permanent markers are not resistant to oils found in creams and make-up and shouldn't be used to mark-up products. The kit's self laminating labels provide the solution ! Kit somes with self laminating labes, mini permanent marker, cosmetic life expectancy guide for cosmetics in a nice box and a pretty pink pouch.

(^o^) Vane *0* said...

very good article that reminds me grabbing a few months to buysome very good products online at and I camequickly and without problems