How Long Does Makeup Last? – Here You Get The Answers!

How long does makeup last?

Makeup that is in liquid or creamy form lasts about 6 months to 18 months. A make-up that is in powder form lasts longer than liquid make-up, it can last for 18 months to 36 months (applies to opened packages).

If you use old make-up, there is a risk that you will get bad skin as bacteria are formed in the make-up.

Foundation and concealer – 6 months – 1.5 years depending on shape and storage. A liquid foundation without a pump should be replaced after 6 months, while a foundation in a pump bottle or in cream form can last for 1.5 years, if stored dry.

Powder – 1.5-2 years.

How do I know if the makeup is old?

On a make-up in liquid form, the product layers or can change color if it is old. Does the makeup look like that? throw it away right away!

You usually have time to finish a make-up product before it gets old as it has a long shelf life.

Are you a person who does not put on make-up so often but only occasionally – invest in buying make-up in smaller packages so you know that you have time to get rid of it before it gets old.

Signs that your makeup is old:

  • The make-up has layered
  • It has changed color
  • Your makeup smells weird

A make-up that is in powder form lasts significantly longer than a liquid product – up to 3 years, make-up in powder form can last.

What you can see on a powder is that a film forms on the top layer, it is oil / sebum from the skin that has accumulated there. You can easily scrape it off with a sharp knife or similar.

If the powder has cracked or crumbled, there are solutions and ways you can fix your broken powder.

Can you get pimples from old makeup?

Yes you can. In old make-up, there may be a risk of bacteria and if you put on make-up with old make-up, you will get these bacteria on your skin.

It is not dangerous to use old make-up but it can result in a bad complexion and an unbalanced complexion.

Old make-up can make your itch on your face and you may find that you get a more sensitive skin than before.

If you suffer from sensitive or acne-prone skin, you should go through your make-up bag and throw away old make-up.

Old make-up can make skin worse

Makeup that has become old can be the cause of your bad skin, or that your makeup brushes are not cleaned for a long time.

Using old make-up is not something I recommend even if you have a lot of make-up left and it feels unnecessary to throw it away.

How does the manufacturer know how long a product lasts?

It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to print the shelf life of the products and it is also the manufacturer who assesses this. This is done through various tests of the products’ durability.

According to the legislation regarding the labeling of cosmetics, a product that has a shelf life of less than thirty months must always have a best before date.

This makes it easier for the consumer to decide if the product is right for them and one can also identify sustainability.

The Medical Products Agency has also produced various symbols that show approximately how long they stay fresh.

Despite the entrepreneurs’ own assessments of how long the products last, there are also general guidelines and these are the ones we have used in the description of sustainability above.

As a basic knowledge, you can also keep in mind that wet products always have a shorter shelf life than a dry product.

A liquid eyeliner thus has a shorter lifespan than a eyeliner pencil.

What happens to the quality of the product after the expiration date?

If you have any of your concealer, lipstick, or foundation left over after the shelf life has expired, it is likely that the bacteria have thrived and grown significantly in the products. It can lead to skin inflammation and irritation of the skin.

Treat your skin in the same way as your stomach and think of cosmetics as food.

Handle them carefully, always with clean hands, and just as you avoid eating old foods, you should also avoid exposing your skin to old skin care products.

Do not put your fingers in the products as this will cause bacteria to enter the product. Make a habit of using a small spatula to get the product out of the package.

How long does lipstick & lip gloss last?

A lipstick usually does not contain water, therefore they last longer than a lip gloss. An opened lipstick lasts for about 1-2 years, while a lip gloss has a shelf life of around 1 year.

On a lipstick, the surface becomes new every time you use it, while a lip gloss that is liquid draws air and dirt into the container with the applicator every time you use it.

Therefore, a lip gloss usually gets worse faster than a lipstick.

How do I know if my foundation is old?

You can see on a liquid foundation that it is old by cutting itself or if it has changed color, what makes it change color is oxidation.

How long does powder foundation last?

A foundation in powder lasts significantly longer than a liquid, a loose powder lasts even longer. The lifespan of a powder foundation is approximately 1.5 years to 3 years.

As long as you use clean makeup brushes, your foundation will have a long shelf life.

Be careful with hygiene

If you make up others, you must of course be incredibly careful with hygiene. There is an incredible amount to think about when it comes to hygiene when applying make-up if you make up several people.

Many people have cold sores and this is an infection that is latent in the body and that you yourself can also have without knowing about it.

It is very important that you use separate lip brushes on those you make up and clean them after the end of the day.

The same goes for eye diseases and eye infections that spread incredibly easily with eye makeup. Therefore, be sure to use a separate mascara brush for each person you apply makeup.

A tip is to save the brushes when a product has run out, wash them thoroughly, and reuse them.

Always sharpen lipsticks and eyeliner between each use. This makes them completely clean and germ-free.

Have several sets of makeup brushes if you are a makeup artist and always clean them after the end of the day. Otherwise, they become easily clogged with rancid fat and various bacteria.

How long do liquid foundations last?

An important thing to know about is that the packaging affects the durability of your foundation.

Foundations that come in a tube or with a pump last longer than a foundation in a jar because you do not come into contact with the foundation and the product does not have the same contact with air and bacteria.

The shelf life of a liquid (creamy / mousse) foundation on a tube is from 6 months to 18 months after it is opened. A liquid foundation in a jar usually needs to be replaced more often than that.

How long does a mascara last?

A mascara contains both water and oils, which means that bacteria thrive there. Therefore, it is important not to use a mascara for longer than 3-4 months.

Our eyes are very sensitive and it is easy to get inflammation in the eyes.

Therefore, you should not have your mascara longer than 4 months even if it has not run out.

How long do eye shadows last?

Dry, powdery eye shadows can last for any length of time, but they last for about 3 years. A small coating can form on dry shadows just like with other powder make-up, but you can easily scrape it off with a knife.

If you use creamy eye shadows, the durability is not as long-lasting, liquid eye shadows last around 1-2 years.

Can I avoid my makeup getting bad?

No, it will be bad when the expiration date has passed. But what you can do is keep the makeup cool and dark.

Another thing you can do to make your makeup last longer is to use clean makeup brushes when you apply makeup. A lot of bacteria accumulate in our brushes, so it is important to clean them regularly.

I wash my brushes for liquid products every day. Brushes I have for powder products I wash once a week.

New makeup is not sterile

Makeup is not a sterile product and is not 100% clean when new. But in general it should be very clean and only contain very low levels of microorganisms.

Most products also add preservatives, which further protects the product from bacterial growth.

Keep the make-up bag clean

It does not only help to keep bacteria-free by checking the expiration date on your makeup products.

Even around the products you have, it should be kept clean and fresh and the first thing you might think of in this context is the make-up bag or toiletry bag.

All bacteria present on your products will also be in your makeup bag. So regular cleaning of it is also important. Empty the whole bag and turn it inside out.

If you have a hard bag, remove it completely. Then wash it in the washing machine if it can handle it or clean it with, for example, a damp cloth and wipe it afterwards with rubbing alcohol or some other antiseptic.

All makeup that is in different containers also feels very good and stays much longer germ-free if you wipe them with an antibacterial wet wipe.

Powder cans, mascaras, etc. have also received their dose of bacteria and drying them means that your make-up and your make-up bag stay fresh and clean constantly.

The eyelash curler

The eyelash curler is a priority for many and it is also a great source of bacteria. It is a good idea to clean it every time after you have used it or at least a couple of times a week.

Wipe it with a damp cloth or use a wet wipe. It is very smooth.

There are affordable wet wipes among the children’s items in the grocery store, for example. Also replace the rubber part of the eyelash curler regularly if you have one of a finer brand, otherwise you should get a new one regularly.

You may not have thought that your pencil sharpener for your makeup pens is a great source of bacteria, but it is!

And of course it is logical when you think about it. The bacteria are of course transferred from the pen into the sharpener and stay there.

It is not as difficult to clean as you think, but with a top you can access it everywhere.

Dip the top in a bactericidal antiseptic, and you will get it nice and clean. Also wipe the entire sharpener, not just the metal blades.


So we have the brushes. If you make up more people, you should clean your brushes every day and you should clean your own brushes at least once a week.

It is easy to do with detergent and lukewarm water if you have synthetic brushes.

If you have makeup brushes in natural bristles, you simply use shampoo and conditioner. Remember to rinse thoroughly. Then place the brush on a towel and let it dry.

Make-up sponges and diffusers

Make-up sponges and diffusers are also easy to keep clean. Clean your sponges at least once a week or every time after using it. Start by rinsing it under lukewarm water and then have detergent, soap, or shampoo and rub it in.

Then rinse and hug until the water is clear again. Allow to air dry on a towel. A quick cleaning with warm water after each time you use them is great.

Wipe your tweezers

Also, wipe your tweezers regularly with an antiseptic wet wipe.

If after a while your tweezers start to feel dull and do not have a good grip, you can use a fine sandpaper or a nail file to sharpen it and in this way your tweezers will feel like new again.

Take care of your makeup and your makeup bag

If you have not previously realized how much bacteria there is in your makeup, you are guaranteed to know it now.

Taking the time to take care of your make-up and your make-up bag has a lot to gain from it. And it’s also really fun.


Old make-up is a bacterial collector and if you use old make-up, it can result in a sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Makeup lasts for different lengths depending on the packaging it has, but also depending on the type of consistency the makeup has. Powdered makeup lasts longer than liquid makeup.

You usually find out if your makeup is old if it has changed color, layered or smelled strange. If any of this is true – throw away the makeup!


AI Noor. (2020). Isolation and identification of microorganisms in selected cosmetic products tester

G Šniepienė. (2019). Cosmetics Usage Habits And Related Side Effects Among Females: Lithuanian Case

P Tejal. (2013). Cosmetics and health: usage, perceptions and awareness

Lauren Biscaldi. (2021). Steering Clear of Makeup Misuse Can Prevent Ocular Disease


This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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