By Gritty Pretty

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but here it is…. cosmetics don’t last forever, friends.

Although it may be tempting to hold on to every last inch of powder or drop of lotion, it may be time to live and let go.

Consider this your tough love wake up call! It’s time to be strong and throw out all those discoloured, runny or lumpy cosmetics that are clogging up your beauty cupboard and potentially causing blemishes and even infection.

Here, we bring you a breakdown of beauty product expiration dates. Good riddance!


It sounds gross but your mascara is a breeding ground for bacteria. This is why it should be replaced every four to six months, when it starts getting clumpy and drying out. Liquid eyeliner also has the same lifespan, but your pencil should last up to a year.

The same rule applies to your loofah. If you use it in the shower every day, it should be replaced way more frequently than you probably do. Think about it: you use it to slough off dead skin and the day’s dirt, so it can quickly become home to all sorts of nasties like bacteria and mould.


Anything dry like powdered foundation, blush and eye shadows can last up to two years, if they’re kept out of the sun while their liquid, compact or creme counterparts generally last for a year.

Lipstick and lipliners should be good for up to two years, but just keep an eye on how well they apply. If they’ve been subjected to heat and have melted slightly, they might not going to be as smooth and may even turn out streaky. Of course, lipsticks are another hiding place for bacteria, so keep that mind whenever lending your lipstick to a friend.

One thing that offers longevity and is worth investing in is makeup brushes – if you buy good quality brushes, and you clean them with shampoo regularly. If your brushes start to shed or become stiff after cleaning, then it’s time to bin them.

Nail polishes might seem like they last forever but the truth is they too have an end date. After a year or two, they can become streaky, running and the colours can separate. TIP: Try storing them in the fridge to maximise the lifespan of your favourite polishes.

Perfume is another beauty essential that benefits from being stored in the fridge – never keep them in the sun or on a windowsill. When kept in a cool, dark corner, the scent will keep fresh and won’t sour.


Mascara (regular or waterproof): 6 months
Liquid, pencil and gel eyeliners: 6-12 months
Concealers and cream, liquid and stick foundations: 6 months to 1 year
Powder-based products: 12-18 months
Lipsticks, lip gloss, and lip pencils: 12-18 months
Lips balms: 6 months
Bronzers and blush: 24 months


Serum: 6-12 months
Cleanser: 12 months
Eye cream: 6-12months
Day cream/night cream: 12months

HAIR CARE & STYLINGspring cleaning your make up bag

Shampoo and conditioners: 12-18months
Masks and leave-in treatments: 12 months
Dry shampoo: 12months


– Unusually discoloured, runny or lumpy.
– Strange odour, strong alcoholic scent.
– Different texture on the skin.
– Packaging that is deteriorating.
– Dries out, becomes clunky.
– Colour separates (foundation and nail polish) .
– The product stops performing as best as it used to.


– Tighten lid of product after each use.
– Wash your hands before use.
– Ensure each product is stored in the correct climate or humidity (best stored in dark places).
– Write the date of purchase in permanent ink.
– Toss out any eye products after any infections.
– Don’t share your beauty products.

And, after all of that, if you forget the purchase date, don’t fret. Just look out for the period-after-opening symbol (PAO)  — a number followed by an M with an open jar symbol — usually located on the back of packaging.

So, a “12M” with an open jar symbol means you should throw the product out 12 months after you’ve opened it. Pretty handy, huh?

Now, who’s keen to spring clean…?

spring cleaning your make up bag