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How long does my make-up last before it expires?

How long does my make-up last before it expires?

Sophie Coffey

The vast majority of us are wearing make-up with a lot less frequency than we were this time last year. While this might be giving your skin a chance to rejuvenate, the effect it is having on your make-up collection is probably a less refreshing one!

The ingredients used in make-up formulas mean that most of your cosmetic products have expiry dates. If you are looking for a productive lockdown activity then now is the perfect time to check your dates and get clearing out your cosmetics!

Makeup Expiration Dates


Foundation products vary depending on their consistency and type. For example, oil foundations will last longer than water based alternatives. They can last from anywhere between 6 months and 2 years! Usually a bottle of foundation is finished well before its expiry date but if you haven’t worn make-up much recently then it might be worth checking your opened bottles. The same system applies to primer products.


Eyeliner products tend to vary between 3 months to 1 year. If you love a gel eyeliner then double check the recommended date on the tube because these do not tend to last as long as their pencil counterparts.


Mascara is another product with a shorter 3-6 month timeframe. The reason for this limited period is linked to the ‘double-sipping’ of the mascara wand and its proximity to the natural bacteria that grows on our eyelashes. If your mascara is dry ahead of this time period, avoid adding liquid as this is a sign that it is reaching its end.

Powder Products

These cosmetic items can last for between 1-2 years. Despite this extended expiration date you may find worth checking whether your powder eyeshadow palettes might actually be beyond this timeframe.

Natural Make-Up

Natural cosmetics as the name suggest use less artificial chemicals. As a result they have a shorter expiration date of 3-6 months. If you find your make-up bag is full of natural products then it might be time to undertake a detailed decluttering.

See Also

Lip Products

This might come as a surprise but lipstick can last for up to two years! Unfortunately, the difference in texture means that lip-glosses will not last as long.

BUT you should be very careful about using older lip products as there can be bacteria lingering in them that can cause infections and cold sores.

Fake tan

Trust me, the potential of turning green means this is not a product you want to risk trying out of date! Most fake-tanners last for 1 year but double-check the bottle especially if it is not your usual brand.

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