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No matter how much you love your marvelous mauve lipstick or the mascara with the perfect applicator, there comes a time when makeup has got to go. The reality is that makeup that hangs around too long becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of germs and bacteria.

Makeup Expiration Guidelines: How Can I Tell If My Makeup Has Expired? Follow Me on Pinterest

So how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye with your old makeup and replace them with new ones? Let us find out in this article…

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1. Mascara

Makeup Expiration Guidelines: How Can I Tell If My Makeup Has Expired? - Mascara Follow Me on Pinterest

Of all your makeup, this is the one that you should be most careful of. Every time you apply the brush to your eye then stick it back in the tube, you’re basically introducing germs into a damp, dark place perfect for growth.

Those bacteria can make your eyes red or itchy, and in worse case scenarios cause pink-eye (conjunctivitis) or sties. To reduce risk, you should toss out mascara after two to three months of use. And if you ever notice a gasoline smell coming from your mascara, toss it immediately.

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2. Foundation

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Since the majority of foundations are water-based, they make a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

An unopened foundation is good for about two years, but once you use it, it should be replaced after six to twelve months.

Your foundation should be kept out of warm moist environments – like the bathroom – because it encourages the growth of bacteria and can accelerate spoiling. This is really true for any makeup products.

If your foundation begins to smell funny or if you see a color change, toss it. Continued use can lead to breakouts and skin irritation.

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3. Concealer

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You use concealer to cover your blemishes, but if it gets too old, it may start to cause them! If you see a color change or notice a bad smell, it’s time to toss it.

Powder and stick concealers are generally good to go for as much as two years, but liquids should be thrown out after one.
4. Eye Shadows

Makeup Expiration Guidelines: How Can I Tell If My Makeup Has Expired? - Eye Shadows Follow Me on Pinterest

You should only use powder eye shadows for about three months before replacing them, or you may end up with red and itchy eyes.

While the formula isn’t much different from other powders, there’s extra risk of bacteria transference because of the contact with your eyes. You should also be especially attentive to cream shadows which can grow bacteria much more quickly.

If you apply shadow with your fingers, make sure to wash your hands well before application. If your shadow changes texture or color, or if you notice an unusual odor, get rid of it.

If you use your fingers to apply, wash your hands before doing so, and be aware of any color switches or off-putting smells.
5. Blush

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Like the other makeups, cream blushes will need to be replaced more frequently than powder blushes. The best way to prevent problems with blush is to clean out the brush after every use, and store it in a cool, dry area.

If you notice an odd texture or see a gray film on top of your blush, you can be sure it’s passed its “Use By” date and needs to be thrown out.
6. Eyeliner

Makeup Expiration Guidelines: How Can I Tell If My Makeup Has Expired? - Eyeliner Follow Me on Pinterest

Eyeliners – both liquid and pencil – should be thrown out after about three months of use. Like mascara and shadows, the odds of contamination are great because of their use near mucus membranes. Using a “past due” liner can lead to itchy eyes, redness and conjunctivitis.

If you make a habit of frequently sharpening your pencil liners, they can last longer than the liquids. However, keep an eye out for a white film on the pencil tip that won’t sharpen off.
7. Lipstick

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Lipsticks are one of the safer makeups – since they don’t contain water, they have a low risk of bacteria growth. But keep in mind that they do make frequent contact with your mouth, so should be replaced after a year. You should also toss them if you use them while you’re sick. This goes for glosses, too.

You’ll know it’s time to toss out your lip color if it gets too hard to spread onto your lips.
8. Nail Colors

Makeup Expiration Guidelines: How Can I Tell If My Makeup Has Expired? - Nail Colors Follow Me on Pinterest

Nail polish will generally last about a year. If the oils separate, you can shake it to remix, but if doesn’t mix well, you should go ahead and throw it out. While it’s not dangerous, it simply won’t adhere to your nails as well and will chip off easily.

Your nail polish will last much longer if you keep it stored in a cool, dark place. The fridge is a great spot, especially in summer.

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