Getting Tough – Throwing Out the Makeup You’ve Had for Years


My makeup and skin care products are precious to me, they are my happy place, my indulgence! I love choosing them, experimenting with them and yes, I admit it – getting more! Throwing away skin care and makeup products sounds like something I DO NOT want to do, but it’s actually very important to keep a handle on what products have expired, and what products could be harboring some real nasties in the form of bacteria.

Using expired products or products that have bacteria or active ingredients that have gone “off” could have a VERY bad effect on your skin, so let’s make sure that everything we have is clean, well-stored and hasn’t gone passed its shelf life!

Your skin is absorbent, so using expired makeup is like eating food that has turned. It might not give you a tummy bug, but it can cause all kinds of problems from inflammation to rashes and to allergic reactions that can be painful and unsightly.


By keeping everything clean and storing it correctly, you can make sure your gorgeous products don’t expire before they should. Number 1 is to keep everything clean – your brushes, your makeup bag, your hands when applying. You can wipe products and the inside of your makeup bag with antibacterial wipes for a quick clean and let it dry before putting everything back.

Keep all lids tightly shut, and store at room temperature. Remember – the bathroom is a humid area, so if you keep your makeup and products there, try to store in a cabinet, and out of direct sunlight! Oh, and nail polish is best stored in the fridge – I have an entire fridge tray devoted to my color polishes!

Expiry Dates:

These are usually found on the packaging, but sometimes in very small print, so make sure you search for it! Here are some guidelines:

2/3 Months:

  • Mascara
  • Loofah
  • Face masks and peels
  • Acne pads
  • Nail files

6 months to 1 year:

  • Eye creams
  • Liquid foundations
  • Concealer
  • Face wash
  • Serum
  • Acne creams and washes

1 to 1.5 years:

  • Sunscreen
  • Face wash
  • Lip gloss
  • Bar soap
  • Cream eyeshadow
  • Bar soap
  • Shower gel

2 years:

  • Body scrubs in a jar
  • Body lotion in a jar
  • Powder foundation
  • Powder shadow and blush
  • Nail polish
  • Lipstick
  • Lip and Eye pencils

3 years:

  • Hairspray
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Pump body lotion
  • Perfume

One of the biggest areas of concern is any product in a jar, or that you use your hands and fingers to scoop product out with. Over time, repeatedly dipping unwashed hands into the same product allows for bacteria to increase inside the packaging and in the product itself, which can lead to bacterial infections.

The fastest-expiring products are acne treatments, because they have active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or other medications that lose their effectiveness over time, especially when the product has not been sealed properly. Always aim for that room temperature storage and a tightly closed lid!

Now that you have given your beauty and makeup products a clear out, there should be space for some more – Yay! Keep your eyes peeled for our April Blog Giveaway result then…

And as a thank-you for supporting Coin de Papillon! Enjoy 10% off on your order*. Enter Code: BLOG10 at COSME-DE.COM check-out page to enjoy the offer.

*The promotion code is not applicable for promotion, clearance items, and bundle sets.

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