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EXPIRED: Using Expired Makeup Could Be Hazardous to Your Health

  • by Corrie Shenigo
  • posted at 5:55 pm
  • November 12, 2010

After cleaning out both my closets and my cosmetics case (I call it ‘the purge’ and do it at least twice a year – for some reason it makes me feel more organized) I have to admit that I was taken aback by several of the ‘use by’ dates lurking in my beauty arsenal.

Use by dates? Really?  That was my question too… and apparently many others.  New findings by Opinium Research shows that nearly 15% of cosmetics buyers aren’t even aware that beauty products actually expire, and a further 49% armed with the knowledge that this date exists don’t even bother to check it.  Which could be a small… um… problem.

It starts in that excited second when you open a new shiny product and the process of contamination marches on each time you use it.  Consider that bacteria, yeasts and molds are always present in our skin and hair (Yuck.  I know.  We’ll just have to live with it.), as well as in the air around us and in the items we touch everyday.  And while those micro-organisms are often times harmless, they can still lead to product spoilage… which, in turn, can lead to skin irritations and even infections in the skin.

Since cosmetics expiration dates aren’t always super clear (or – lets be honest – legible), we here at PoshBeauty.com thought it would be a good idea to bust out a few timelines to keep our readers shiny and fresh and skin eruption free.

Mascara: (sadly) lasts a scant four to six months after purchase.  If it starts to smell or look a little ‘off’ it’s generally best to toss it.

Eye shadow and blush: lasts a more reasonable 18 to 24 months (so you can use those pretty powdered shades until you can at least see the bottoms of the containers.)

Lipstick and lip gloss: can last for 12 to 24 months (if your not passing it around to your girlfriends after the weekly ladies brunch – which I do.  What can I say, I’m a giver.)

Liners (eye and lip): lasts for about 18 months.

Perfume: What? Perfume? Really? I know it’s not cheap, ladies… but you really should only keep it around 36 months.

Check your own cosmetics case and you may find it’s time to do your own ‘purge’ – because, while beauty is timeless, beauty products (unfortunately) are not.

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