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Make up expiry dates

Does make up really have an expiration date?  I only wear make up occasionally and I am not thrilled at the prospect of throwing away a lipstick only used a few times because it is a year old.



  • Hi Kirsty. There are three potential problems with old makeup:

    1. Does it still work? Some active ingredients can lose efficacy over time. (Probably not an issue with lipstick.)

    2. Is it still aesthetically pleasing? In other words, does it look and smell ok. Fragrance and color fade over time and some oils can pick up a rancid flavor. This IS likely to happen to lipstick. 

    3. Is it still free from microbial contamination: Over time a preservative system may fail which means a product could grow bacteria or fungi. (This is less likely to happen with a lipstick because it doesn't contain water.) 

    You have to look at each product on a case by case basis. Some will last beyond their expiration date and there's little danger in continuing to use them. Others may put you at risk if they've expired, like mascara. 
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