McCoy & Hiestand Attorneys at Law

by Crystal Consylman

We all have it—the makeup that we never finish using; now just sitting in a drawer, in our bathroom closet or on top of our vanity. The newest and latest product comes out that you have to have, and you think to yourself that you’ll use up the old products later. However, “later” never seems to come. The problem is that old makeup can sometimes do more harm than good.

Different types of makeup play different roles in our appearance. They are meant to make us feel great about ourselves. While many women consider foundation to be the first step of their makeup, it is actually the last step of your skin care. It helps keep the dirt and grime of everyday life from getting into your pores. However, foundations are only good for so long. If you continue to use one after it expires, you could be opening your skin up to irritations and acne. It can be tempting to keep old foundation around, especially since many women will switch between their summer- and winter-color foundations before they’ve completely used up a bottle. This is not recommended, especially if your foundation is a liquid.

The product that is most important to pay attention to is your eye makeup. There are various items that we use on our eyes that, when old, can be very harmful. For instance, gel eyeliners can build up with bacteria—causing sties, irritation and infection in your eye. Mascara can also build up with bacteria over time, reaching a harmful level if used much beyond the product’s expiration. If you pump the applicator into the bottle instead of twist it, the bacteria actually builds up much quicker—so make sure to twist, not pump!

Blushes and bronzers might give you that pop of color you long for, but they too begin to break down after a period of time and will cause breakouts and skin irritation if you do not discard them.

Lipsticks and lip glosses, if not used, will eventually begin to separate. When this happens, you will find that they will actually reduce the moisture in your lips, causing them to dry and crack.

Here are some general guidelines to follow when disposing of makeup:

  • Liquid foundations – 1 year
  • Powder foundations – 2 years
  • Cream to powder foundations – 18 months
  • Concealers – 1 year
  • Cream shadows/blushes/bronzers – 12-18 months
  • Pencil eyeliners – 2 years (you are able to sharpen these and keep them fresh)
  • Lipsticks and lip liners – 1 year
  • Lip gloss – 18 months
  • Liquid or gel eyeliner – 3 months
  • Mascara – 3 months

Women tend to have numerous types and colors of mascara, eyeliners, blushes, shadows and lipsticks. The best way to keep track of when you first opened any given item is to take a thin sharpie and write the month and year on the product. This will help you from accidentally applying old makeup and keep your skin vibrant and beautiful. Most importantly, always remember that makeup only enhances the inner beauty that you hold within!

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