If you covet beauty products as much as I do, it can be tough to part ways. However, we must be mindful of safety and product efficacy issues that can arise once products are past their prime. Here’s a quick guide on the lifespan you can expect out of your products.

The shortest product love affair lasts only 3 months! Products that must be tossed after this time frame include:


  • The quickest way to exhaust your mascara is to pump the wand in and out of the bottle. This forces air back into the product and causes the formula to dry out more quickly.
  • The brush also has lots of bacteria loving crevices, which can grab onto bacteria from the eye area and introduce it back into the tube. Although, most formulas can persevere when exposed to small amounts of bacteria – if you keep your product too long (over 3 months) it can lead to discomfort and eye irritation.


  • Liquid and pen type products should be disposed after 3 months of use. Similar to the mascara brush, these products usually have a brush or felt tip applicator that can pick up and hold on to bacteria.
  • Automatic pencils are safe for 6 months.
  • Sharpen-type pencils are the long-lasters, with a use life of up to 2 years. The sharpening action provides you a new and clean tip with every twist.

Creamy Color

Creamy color can stick around for 6 months or up to 1 year. Your application preference has an influence on the products lifespan. If you love applying and blending with your fingertips, you’re actually shortening the life of your creamy products. As you may imagine your fingertips contain bacteria, to much contamination in your product can lead to troubled skin and (eek!) breakouts. Switch to a sponge or brush applicator and you can extend your products use period to a full year (that’s an extra 6 months)!

  • Foundation
  • Concealers
  • Cream Blush/Bronzers/Highlighters
  • Cream Eyeshadow


Skincare can last 1-2 years based on the protection offered by its packaging.

  • Skincare in Jars – if you can commit to clean hands before dipping into your favorite skincare cream, your product will be clean and ready for use for a full year.
  • Skincare in Pumps – product dispensed with a pump, has more protection from air than a jar and also stays safe from any bacteria lingering on your tips and can be used for up to 2 years.


Keep your pout in color for up to 2 years.

  • Most lipsticks and lip glosses are oil-based formulas, which are not as friendly to bacteria as water-based formulas. Feel free to keep your lip hues around for 2 years. It’s much more likely that you may notice changes in the formula performance before lifespan expires. If the formula seems dry, hard to swipe on your pout, or starts to smell funny – go ahead and give them a toss!


Powder products have staying power with a life of 2 years!

  • Pressed and loose powder pigments stay safe for up to two years. In fact, it is likely the powder will harden or crumble long before it will be susceptible to bacteria contamination. Wear your powder proudly — just be sure to choose the right shade, you two are going to have a long life together and certainly some selfies! While you can safely strobe on all your powders for up to 2 years, please consider the care of your brushes, these must be cleaned every 1-2 weeks!

Have a shelf life concern? Has your product been tested? We’re here to help! Please contact us and let us design your perfect formula, with proper shelf life guidelines of course! Thanks for reading!

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