Eye makeup holds the greatest potential for infection and has the shortest shelf life of all cosmetics. Some dermatologists recommend replacing eye makeup after only three months. Liquids and creams, especially mascara, can potentially cause serious eye infections. Styes – inflamed oil glands at the edge of the eyelid – along with itchy, red eyelids and swelling around the eyes are some of the less serious potential problems that can occur with eye makeup that has passed its safe shelf life date. Contact lens wearers are at special risk of infection from using contaminated eye makeup.
So called natural cosmetics often have a shorter shelf life than conventionally manufactured cosmetics. This is because many natural cosmetics are plant-based, which makes them especially susceptible to bacteria. An oatmeal bath soap soak is not nearly so relaxing when you discover you’re sharing your tub with mealworms that have been feasting off the soap you’re using.
Creams and Lotions
Many dermatologists advise that creams and lotions begin to go bad after about six to twelve months. If lotions and creams are in pump bottles, they may remain good longer because you’re less likely to dip your finger into the bottle. However, moisturizers in jars that you apply with your hands may be ready for the trash bin after six months, because every time you dip your hand into the cream, you’re potentially contaminating it.
Powders and Lip Colors
Powder makeup and lipstick in a barrel may be safe to use for about twelve to eighteen months. Lip gloss may also be good for about eighteen months. However, if you’ve used your hands to apply the cosmetics, that will shorten the shelf life.
Besides discarding old cosmetics, keeping cosmetics clean and away from water will help ensure that they are safe to use. Never share cosmetics with anyone. Your BFF may be like a sister, but you don’t want to pick up a cold sore on your lip from trying out her hot new lipstick shade. Trying out sample cosmetics at department stores is also a risky bet. If you must sample a new shade, do so with a clean cotton swab, not your hand.
Be especially careful with eye makeup. Do not apply eyeliner on your inner eyelids. If your mascara dries out, toss it. Don’t attempt to extend its usefulness by running it under the tap to rewet the brush. Resist the temptation to make your lipstick or blush do double duty as eye shadow. Even though you’re using it on your own face, bacteria from your cheek or lip may cause an infection through a small tear in your eyelid.
About the Author:
Richard Harrelson is an independent eye health researcher with many years experience in the cosmetics industry. His articles mainly appear in health blogs. Learn how to order contact lenses online.
Editor: I would like to add an usual safe period for a couple of things.
Liquid Make-up= 12-15 months
Wet & dry powder foundation= 24 months
Pressed powder= 36 months
Concealer= 9 months
Eye Base= 24 months
Eye Liner pencils= 36 months
Powder blush= 36 months
Lipstick= 24 months
Lip gloss= 24 months
Lip liner pencils= 36 months
Powder eye shadow= 36 months
Mascara= 6 months
Liquid eyeliner= 9 months
If you ever notice that an odor developed or the consistency has changed, throw it away. Never add water or mix cosmetics to attempt to “fix” them.
Image from Google
What period do you follow ?