Ways To Know Your Beauty Products Are Expired


namcgloster / January 21, 2011

There comes a point when you have to let go and accept the reality that your favorite beauty products eventually become breeding grounds for bacteria. Here’s how to know what’s still good and what’s past its prime.

As the brush is taken out, applied, and put back in the tube, it brings with it any bacteria that has collected along the way. Lingering bacteria can cause redness and itchiness, or even conjunctivitis (a.k.a. pinkeye) and sties. Switch mascara every two to three months to be safe. “It will also have a distinct gasoline-like smell once it’s gone bad,” says makeup artist Pati Dubroff.

This is meant to cover blemishes, not cause them—which is what can happen if you use a concealer that’s too old. “You’ll know it’s gone bad because the color will start to shift,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. Concealers in powder and stick form can last for up to two years, while liquids should be tossed after one.

Liquid or pencil, these eye definers should be replaced about every three months. Pencils will last a bit longer than liquid if you’re steadfast about regular sharpening, but you’ll know they’re dead once a white film starts to develop on the tip that can’t be sharpened off, says Dubroff.

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