2 comments / • Babe Lash

Out With the Negative Vibes (AKA Your Expired Makeup)

As you may have seen, this month, Babe Lash is focusing on all things related to self-care. Part of your self-care journey should be associated with getting rid of things that don’t benefit you- physically or emotionally. We talked about the emotional aspect of self-care earlier this month, but today is all about getting rid of the physical things that no longer benefit you - and in this case, it’s your old, expired makeup that’s holding you back.

Fresh Starts Are Important

We’ve got some bad news for you - most of your pre-pandemic makeup and skincare products need to go in the trash. We know it’s not fun to hear, but after learning why it’s important to get rid of your expired products, we think you’ll feel more open-minded. 

So, in the name of self-care and wiping the slate clean (which can be super liberating, BTW), it’s time to commit ourselves to do a post-pandemic product purge. 

The Burning Question

Let’s just address the big question right away: 

  • Yes, you do have to throw out your expired makeup products. 
  • Yes, even if it was expensive. 
  • Also, yes, even if it hasn’t been used that much, it’s time to get rid of it.

Why Do I Need to Replace My Old Beauty Products?

The big “why” behind replacing your expired cosmetics is pretty simple:

  • Reduced performance
  • Increased breakouts
  • Infection

Let’s break it down a bit, shall we?

Reduced Performance

Performance is important to cosmetics. You don’t spend money on makeup and skincare for it to not give you results, right? Given time, all cosmetics lose their effectiveness as they dry out, become exposed to moisture, etc. If you use a performance-based cosmetic, like Babe Lash, it’s especially important to keep performance at top of mind. You want to make sure the ingredients don’t lose potency. 

Reduced preformance

Increased Breakouts

Dermatologists refer to it as acne cosmetica, but you’re welcome to simplify it to a makeup-related breakout. Sadly, products applied to the skin (foundation, concealer, primer, moisturizer, serum, etc.) are notorious for causing breakouts if the product has expired. 

Increased Breakout


Even from the safety of your own home, you’re at risk of infection when you use expired products. Liquid or felt-tip eyeliner, in particular, are notorious for housing bacteria. Products like mascara are prone to flaking as they dry out, and mascara flakes in the eye can cause some serious damage in the long term. With these products getting so close to your eyes, it’s best to not take chances with expiration dates.

Top 20 Cosmetics and Their Expiration Dates

Like most things in your home, beauty products have expiration dates. Unfortunately, not all expiration dates are clear-cut in the beauty industry. Plus, there are environmental and formulaic factors that affect the lifespan of your products, but we’ll get to that later.

The following is a list of expiration dates to follow after opening the product. Note that most cosmetics expire in the period after opening (commonly referred to as PAO), so if you won’t be using the product for a while, you should consider waiting to open it, so it has a longer lifespan:

  • Lash Serum: 1 year
  • Lash Conditioner: 1 year 
  • Liquid Eyeliner: 3 months
  • Lip Gloss: 1 year
  • Brow Filler: 4-5 months
  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Concealer: 1 year
  • Cream Blush: 1 year
  • Eyeliner Pencil: 2 years
  • Eyeshadow: 1-2 years
  • Foundation: 1 year
  • Lip Balm: 1-5 years
  • Lipstick: 2 years
  • Powder Blush: 2 years
  • Body Lotion: 2 years
  • Face Cream: 2 years
  • Eye Cream: 1 year
  • Sunscreen: 6 months
  • Setting Spray: 1 year
  • Bronzer: 2 years

Remember that the expiration dates listed above aren’t precise to the individual products in your makeup bag. These are the generic dates that most products adhere to, but some cosmetics, especially ones that are natural or organic in formulation, have a shorter shelf-life. And in other cases (like Babe Lash’s, for example), some formulations by brands can last longer than what is listed above.

Always check the expiration dates that are listed on your products. To remind yourself to get rid of products after a certain time, you can keep a running list on your phone of when you bought each item and when it expires. Alternatively, you could write the expiration date on the bottom of the product itself. Better yet, you could set a calendar reminder for yourself or use a to-do list app.

3 Ways to Increase Your Cosmetics’ Lifespan

Don’t panic. There are a few ways to extend the life of (some of) your cosmetics:

  1. Don’t store your makeup in a humid environment
  2. Don’t touch your products with your fingers
  3. Don’t use a product with an eye infection

Don’t Store Your Makeup in a Humid Environment

If possible, try to store your makeup in a different room than the humid bathroom. The steam and humidity from your shower wreak havoc on your makeup- especially powder-based products, like eyeshadow and blush. Cream-based products aren’t immune to the effects of humidity and heat either. Your cream-based blush and lipsticks (among other cream-based cosmetics) can soften or get moisture trapped in the product, which could cause a bacterial buildup. 


Don’t Touch Your Products with Your Fingers

We know it’s tempting to use your fingers to swatch eyeshadow on your wrist like all of the influencers do, but doing this leaves oils on your eyeshadow palettes. Even if your fingers are clean, touching the shadow can reduce its longevity. And if your hands are dirty, you’re introducing potentially dangerous bacteria into your cosmetics. The same is especially true for creamy products, like some moisturizers, serums, and droppers. Touching the product without a sanitized brush can introduce bacteria into the product’s moist environment.

Eye Dropper

Don’t Use a Product With an Eye Infection

If you have any kind of eye infection, DO NOT wear eye makeup until the infection has cleared up. Not only does putting makeup onto infected skin slow down the healing process, but it also completely contaminates your makeup. If you put on any kind of eye makeup while you’ve got conjunctivitis (pink eye), a stye, or otherwise, consider that makeup ruined. Just throw it away- especially if it’s mascara or eyeliner. You’re going to keep getting eye infections if you use a tainted product.


Starting Your Expired Product Purge

We know that makeup and skincare products are expensive, and it can be hard to discard a cosmetic that isn’t empty, especially if it was an investment. That’s not an easy thing- and that’s why most people haven’t removed those expired products from their collection (even when they know they should). 

Remember that this is a step in your self-care routine. By getting rid of something that could potentially cause damage to your complexion or your health, you are prioritizing yourself and acknowledging that you deserve to use the healthiest products on your skin.

If you are an avid makeup purchaser, we also acknowledge that there is a high potential for needing to throw away a lot of products, which could be environmentally problematic. So, if you want to be environmentally conscious (which you should), reach out to your local recycling center to see which of your products can be recycled. And if your product can’t be recycled, maybe there is a way of upcycling them! 

So, consider this to be the sign you need to focus on buying primarily performance-based products that help you look and feel your best, rather than experimenting and buying more products than you can realistically use before it expires. 

It may take some time for you to be ready to take this step in your self-care journey, but we hope you will join us! Tell us in the comments how old your oldest beauty product is (and if that product is expired, it’s time to clean the slate).

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If you have any feedback or questions please contact us directly at info@babelash.com



  • • Chanel

    Eeks! I’m guilty of not knowing all of this and using my makeup until completion…which might take way past the expiration point! BRB, cleaning out my make up bag.

  • • Lauren

    I recently threw out a Bobbi Brown pallet my mom gave me when I was 12. (I’m turning 30.) Instead of throwing out the eyeliner and eyeshadow brushes, I used them to paint a little chess set I’m making. They work great. Haha

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