Know The Lifespan Of Your Makeup To Avoid Infections

Arielle Benasillo
Arielle Benasillo is a 23 year old New Yorker who's passion for makeup is real. Growing up with both parents as hair stylists, the skill ran in the family. She recently graduated from Make Up Forever Academy New York certifying her in beauty & fashion, theatrical, special effects makeup and body painting. Arielle is now a freelance makeup artist working on photo shoots, weddings and events, as well as being employed at Salon S for makeup artistry. On her free time she enjoys traveling, being outdoors, froyo night with her roommates, and taking advantage of bottomless brunch in Manhattan with friends.

I understand how much attachment you can have with one product that never fails. If you go into any woman’s bathroom, chances are you will find lipsticks that are carved out to the last drop, or powder that has hit the bottom. Well unfortunately, that eyeliner that is sharpened so far down that it’s only an inch long, or even unopened products that you’ve had for a while, can have tons of bacteria!

Many people aren’t aware that makeup does, in fact, go bad. So that prompts the question, how do you know when it’s time to toss? While it isn’t easy to part with makeup that had such a great life, it will be much easier to toss when you know that bacteria can grow in these dated products. There has to be a point when you let go of these products and go grab a fresh one (after all- who doesn’t love a new fresh untouched lipstick or a long perfectly sharpened liner?).


1. Foundation

Lifespan: 6 months

Bacteria’s BFFs are water-based products like foundation. Powder foundation is an exception. Since powder is not water-based it has a longer life (about two years). Personally, I prefer liquid foundation, but you will have to keep in mind that it is a bacteria-happy place and should be tossed after six months (unopened it can last a year or two). To assure bacteria doesn’t find its way sooner, keep your foundations out of the bathroom or anywhere with lots of moisture/humidity.


2. Blush

Lifespan: 12 months

Same rules apply for powder blush as powder foundation, as they do not contain water. One thing that you should keep in mind to prolong your powder products’ lifespan is to stay on top of cleaning your powder brushes. You could be picking up foundation or oils on your brushes and transferring them into the powder as you apply! This can leave a film over your powder and can create discoloration. For tips on cleaning your brushes, check out this article. In addition, cream blush should always be ditched after a year.


3. Mascara

Lifespan: 2-3 months

Mascara is the product you should be most skeptical about. Your mascara is repeatedly being used and put back in the tube. It could pick up any bacteria on the lashes and contaminate the whole tube. For this reason, you should not keep mascara for more than three months.

This is a product that many people do not keep for too long, simply because they usually dry out by this time anyway. However, if you ever develop any sort of infection or irritation, you should definitely throw out your mascara immediately to prevent yourself from spreading or having the problem again!


4. Eyeliner

Lifespan: Liquid 3 months | Pencil 12 months

Eyeliners, like mascaras, are a product that you should be very careful with. Liquid liners should be tossed after three months. There is no way of cleaning or sharpening liquid liners and this can allow bacteria to thrive.

Pencil liner, however, has a longer life if you make sure to keep it sharpened and clean. Don’t forget about the sharpener either! You should be sanitizing your sharpener with rubbing alcohol and keeping it clean as well.


5. Lipstick/Lipgloss and Lipliner

Lifespan: Lipstick 2 years | Lipliner 2+ years

Lipstick will last a long time because of the low water content. Bacteria will most likely not be the issue for tossing them out. After a while, the lipstick’s texture will change and no longer look creamy on the lips. You will pretty much know when it’s time to get rid of these products and move on.

When it comes to lipliner, if you keep this product freshly sharpened and clean, it will last you quite a while. However, replacing lip products after about a year or after you’ve been sick is sometimes necessary. You need to be aware that these products can spread any issues you may have.

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