Wearing makeup again? Check the date

Before you start using makeup you haven't used in a year, there are things you should check.


With people working from home for the past year, many took a break from getting dressed up and putting on makeup.

As more people get vaccinated and offices reopen, you may want to check your makeup inventory before you start using it again — it expires.

"Expiration dates are really important to keep in mind when it comes to makeup," said Dr. Susan Masssick, a dermatologist and assistant professor with the Ohio State College of Medicine.

Although some cosmetics may have an actual expiration date stamped on them, Massick said other products have a "period after opening" stamp.

"Often times it'll be a logo with an open jar with a number after it which means, for example, 6M would be six months after opening would be an appropriate expiration," she said.

For eye makeup, such as mascara or eyeliner, Massick said those products should be replaced after three months.

Liquid blushes, concealers or foundations should be thrown out after a year and anything that's a pencil — lip, brow, eyeliner — can also be kept for a year.

Massick said lipsticks and lip glosses are usually good for one to two years.

Expired products won't work as well, she said, but they can also house harmful germs.

"The downsides to these kids of contaminations, which are generally things like skin infections, skin irritation, certainly eye infections, conjunctivitis, sties, those things an all arise from contaminated or expired makeup."

If your makeup is drying out, Massick says you shouldn't put water or saliva on it.

"That actually introduces even more bacteria that you then put on your face," she said.

It's also important to store your makeup properly in a cool, dry place and to regularly clean brushes and sponges.