Everything You Need To Know About The Shelf Life Of Your Beauty Products

Are you a low-key product hoarder? Are your bathroom cabinets filled with half-used cosmetic products, makeup samples, goopy nail polish and old perfumes bottles…just to name a few? If so, this post is for you.

Crazy as it seems, each and every one of your beauty products—from body butter and mascara to hair extensions—has a shelf life; a time frame from when a product is OK to use and when it needs (yes, needs) to be tossed. Much like food products, once beauty cans, jars and bottles are opened, they’re exposed to bacteria, air and light, which cause them to break down over time. This makes them lose effectiveness, meaning your perfume might smell a little funky or your clarifying shampoo might lose its ability to cut through build-up. Not all products are created equal, so our beauty contributor, Caylee, made a list of common products and how long you should hold on to them.

Makeup

  • Foundation: 1 year
  • Cream, Liquid Concealer: 12-18 months
  • Powders (blush, bronzer, highlighter): 2 years
  • Pencil Eyeliner: 2 years
  • Liquid Eyeliner: 3 months
  • Mascara: 3 months. This one is major! Your eyes are prone to infection and irritation. If you’re always sharing your makeup with friends, you should stop lending over mascara and liquid liner because they spread bacteria easily.
  • Lipstick, Lip Liner: 1 year
  • Lip Gloss: 18-24 months

Body & Hair

  • Shampoo, Conditioner: 2 years
  • Body Wash, Soap: 3 years
  • Hair Styling Spray, Creams: 3 years
  • Moisturizer, Face Cream: 1 year, or shorter if you have to dip your hands into a jar. Always wash your hands before using products that require you to expose all of the product.
  • Nail Polish: 2 years, depending on how tightly you seal the bottle!
  • Perfume: 2 years. This one’s personal preference! The authentic, true scent will start to fade after two years, but it might still smell nicely on your skin. Just be cautious!

Insider Tip: Because most products are not labeled, we’d recommend writing the date opened using a black sharpie on the bottom of the bottle. This will keep your products in pristine condition and keep your bathroom clean and clutter-free!

Want more beauty? Check out: 5 Easy Steps For Cool, Wavy Air-Dried Hair // If Your Hair Has Buildup From Summer, Here’s What You Need To Do // All Our Favorite Sephora Beauty Buys Under $25

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