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  • Writer's pictureJess Lowe

Beauty Product Expiry: The Info You NEED To Know

Warning... you could be about to have a makeup clear out!

Just like food did you know each of our beauty products from makeup to skincare have an expiry date? Would you know where to find it on your products? If the answer is NO, you need to read this!

Have you seen these symbols on your products?

This is your product expiry date also know as PAO (period after opening) symbol. The 'M' stands for months i.e. 12m = 12 months. It starts when you open it or from first use. These are located either on the outer packaging or on the product itself.

I know your about to look at your products now to see if it's there!

Expiration is important as the product may no longer perform the same. They can also be a home to lots of bacteria which can cause nasty eye infections, acne and bumps on the skin.

The expiry varies by product depending on the formula and ingredients. Natural products will of course degrade quicker. However, I have put together guidelines to help below which also contains some tips on how you can tell if they are past their best:

Foundation and Primers

Shelf life: 6 months to 1 year

If you notice your foundation starts to separate, it’s definitely time to toss it.


Shelf life: 1 year

It’s time to toss your favorite lip products when you notice a change in their texture either dry or goopy.

Brow and Eye Liner Pencil

Shelf life: 1 year

Pencils last longer than most eye products since they’re constantly being sharpened.


Self life: 3 months

Switching your mascara regularly is incredibly important to avoid eye infections. Replace sooner however, if you notice the formula gets clumpy or starts to smell funny, which means it’s gone off.

Liquid Eyeliner

Self life: 3 months

Just like mascara switch up sooner if you notice it starts to get clumpy.

Blusher, Powder and Highlighter

Self life: 2 years

One of the longer lasting makeup products powder can last up to a full 2 years.


Self life: 6 months

Powder shadows can last just as long as powder blush. However, they should be replaced more often since they’re used around your eyes to prevent infection.

Nail Polish

Self life: 1 to 2 years

Store your polish in a cool dry place as heat and direct sunlight will make it separate and become discolored faster.

Gel liner

Self life: 2 months

One of the shortest life spans in the beauty industry! Unfortunately, a pot of gel eyeliner easily traps bacteria.

Beauty Blender/Sponges

Self life: 3 months

A beauty sponge should be replaced every 3 months to prevent bacteria being harbored which will cause dreaded outbreaks.


Self life: 8 to 10 years

Stored correctly your favorite fragrances can last almost a decade making it one of the longest lasting in your collection. To keep them their best store away from direct sunlight and some brands even recommend keeping them in the fridge!! Tell tale signs this is starting to expire is the scent was not the same as the original.

I hope you found this useful beauties. Please remember to share with your friends so they don't have bacteria playgrounds in their makeup collection!

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