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When it comes to makeup, there are plenty of questions that quickly come to mind. Some might google: how to bake your face; how to keep your makeup from melting on a face mask; or the best makeup tools to use. However, there is one crucial topic that has sparked a debate among beauty lovers: When is the best time to throw away makeup?

Like it or not, makeup has an expiration date just like any perishable item. And while your mascara that you have stuffed in your makeup bag may work well after a few months, chances are, you may be doing your skin serious harm if you continue to use it. Thanks to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hope Mitchell of Mitchell Dermatology, we’re here to shed light on the right steps to throwing out makeup.

The idea of throwing out your makeup may be a new concept for you, so Dr. Mitchell is breaking things down and taking out all the guesswork. From learning when to toss out your face makeup to extending the life of your makeup products, we’re sharing the 4-1-1 on all things makeup. Grab a pen, pad, or simply bookmark this article and get ready to get the full scoop from Dr. Mitchell below.

1. Do powder makeup formulas have a longer shelf life than liquid formulas?

There’s a reason why makeup lovers tend to lean toward powder formulas. “Liquid formulas typically have a shorter shelf life than powder formulas,” Dr. Mitchell shares. 

2. When should you throw out your face makeup (foundation, concealers, bb creams etc)?

Believe it or not, formula and packaging plays a major role in regard to shelf life. “It can vary on whether the liquid formula comes with a pump which can last up to 2 years, which is very similar to a powder foundation,” Dr. Mitchell shares. “But if the liquid makeup is a pour out formula, it could have a shelf life of 3 to 6 months.”

3. Should eye makeup products be thrown out sooner than face products?

Since some eye makeup products come in liquid form, they may have the same rule as face makeup products. “Eyeshadows are one of those makeup products that can vary,” Dr. Mitchell explains. “Tossing out expired eye makeup is dependent on the type of eye shadow used. Cream eyeshadows only have a shelf life of six months, especially if you double dip and/or use a dirty brush. Powders last longer, at an average of two years or more.”

4. When should you toss out lipsticks and lip glosses?

It’s pretty easy to spot when it’s time to say goodbye to your lippies, thanks to its appearance and scent. “Lipsticks should be thrown out if they have a smell or when the product discolors,” Dr. Mitchell confirms. “But lipsticks typically have a shelf life up to 2 years.”

5. How long are unopened makeup products good for?

The beauty about unopened makeup products is that you have some time to use them. But, you shouldn’t wait too long as the preservatives in makeup will eventually go bad. “The minute you break the seal and start using the product, is when the clock starts ticking,” Dr. Mitchell explains. “So as long as the product is unopened and stored correctly, you can hang onto it for a while.”

6. What happens if you don’t throw out your makeup at the right time?

Similar to not keeping up a skincare routine, applying expired makeup can cause dirt and bacteria to spread on your skin and wreak havoc. “Depending on the product and your cleanliness, using makeup that is expired can sometimes to lead to skin irritation, dryness or inflammation, such as acne,” Dr. Mitchell confirms.

7. What tips can you share about extending the life of your makeup?

While there is no way to start the clock over once you open up your makeup products, you can extend the shelf-life of your makeup with the right tips. “Sanitizing your makeup will extend the shelf life of your products,” Dr. Mitchell shares. “Using alcohol wipes to wipe products like lipsticks and cream shadows/blushes will prevent bacteria from growing which will extend its life and wiping down powders with a clean tissue will also do the same.”


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Dermatologist Dr. Hope Mitchell Discusses The Best Time To Throw Away Makeup  was originally published on