Posts: 20
Registered: ‎03-24-2010

My friend posted this article on Facebook by PBS. Does anyone follow these guidelines? I have a TON of stuff to throw out now. Does Mineral makeup last any longer?? And I'm assuming blush is the same as the eyeshadow dates?

"Many women are guilty of keeping makeup past its prime, whether it's a favorite lipstick or more dramatic, special-occasion eyeshadow. And though the FDA doesn't require cosmetics to have a printed expiration date, beauty products have a definite shelf life, says Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist and founder, who offers the following expiration guidelines:

Mascara: 3 to 6 months
Eyeliner: 3 to 6 months
Eyeshadow: 3 to 6 months
Lipstick: 1 year
Face powder: 1 year

"After that time, [makeup] is more at risk for growing bacteria or mold — especially if not closed tightly, and kept in a cool, dry environment," says Robinson. In a 2010 report, ABC News tested past-its-prime makeup and found 11 different types of bacteria, including staph, strep, and bacteria normally found in our intestinal system. Pay special attention to eye makeup and eye creams that are packaged in pots — they are more susceptible to contamination, Robinson says. "The eye area contains mucous membranes which are an entry point for possible infection," he advises.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎04-05-2010

The only one I'm a stickler about is mascara...I replace that every 3 months. I don't use expensive mascara for that very reason.

Lipsticks get tossed if they don't smell right.

I don't use "wet" eyeliners, so I'm not too concerned about those.

Pressed products get tossed when they start to look "old".

Mineral powders never get thrown away, unless I decide I don't like a color!

I've never had any kind of eye infection or any other problem.

Gosh, when I think that my Mom & I used to share ALL of our makeup! My friends & I also thought nothing of borrowing each others lipsticks & mascaras---not to mention hairbrushes/combs. This was late 60's early 70's, everyone I knew shared stuff. Somehow we survived!

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,919
Registered: ‎03-26-2010

Cosmetic companies will be ecstatic over these time frames - think of the repeat buying potential. It is alarming when they test products and find those kind of germs. There is one advantage of living in a very dry climate - we are not as prone to the growth of certain bacteria who prefer humid arenas but we're not immune either.

I do keep everything well covered and in a draw. Am wondering how powders like Halo fare since it is well protected underneath the shaver plate and only fresh ground powder is applied to the face.

I would think blush would be in the same category as face powder - the eye products seem to have a shorter shelf life due to their being used in the eye area. Blush is used and applied like face powders so I'm more convinced they have a 1 year shelf life based on his criteria.

Cream blushes might be more susceptible then powder blushes however~.

Super Contributor
Posts: 396
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

I follow about the same as vermint...

I replace mascara in that window - as it's usually starting to get clumpy anyway.

mineral make-up - no

eyeliner - since I am frequently shave the end, I don't see how it could grow bacteria - so I usually use them until they are done or dry out.

Lip stuff - my cue to toss is if the consistency changes or it's dry or doesn't smell right


Honored Contributor
Posts: 34,438
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Just my mascara. Three months and I toss it.

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Super Contributor
Posts: 554
Registered: ‎02-15-2013

I do pitch mascara (but I am happy with a drugstore brand and it tend to use it up in 3 -4 mos)

The others - no

Wayne Goss has talked about products to sterilize your make up but I don't know if we can get it here in the States

Edit_ there is an online store for the US

I do clean my brushes frequently with rubbing alcohol to sterilize them (this works about 1000% better than washing your brushes with soap and they don't lose their shape and it is pretty cheap)

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,450
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Mascara - yes, because I use it more than anything else.

I keep mineral products forever; never use lipstick/gloss.

Posts: 20
Registered: ‎03-24-2010

Thanks ladies. I have a lifetime supply of Bare Minerals that I would hate to toss out, so it's good to know that that I can keep it! I think I'll be more diligent about my eye makeup and with everything else I'll toss if it smells or looks funny. I also need to be better about washing my makeup brushes.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,566
Registered: ‎04-04-2014
since the eyeliners were only a dollar a piece on sale I'm not too concerned if I have to toss them but I think there is something to the shaving off the ends idea anyway. I've been following the three month rule with the mascara
Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,330
Registered: ‎03-20-2010

Most of the products I use only last about that amount of time anyway since I do my makeup daily and not just occasionally.