When To Replace Your Cosmetics

Shelf Life Facts for Cosmetics

Keep track of how long you've had your beauty products, for two good reasons: To be sure they are still effective and to assess their possible contamination with bacteria that can cause rashes or infection. Save this handy guide. 

FOUNDATION: up to 2 years

Throw out sooner if the pigment has started to change or the consistency becomes clumpy.

LIPSTICK: 1 1/2 to 2 years

When the waxes eventually dry out, you'll feel a loss of the slip that makes application easy.

MASCARA: 3 months

Because the process of applying involves moving the wand from lashes to bottle and back, the risk of introducing bacteria is high. A new tube every three months is simply sensible eye hygiene.

 EYE SHADOW: 3 years

If either power or cream varieties exhibit an order or a color or texture change, discard sooner.


If the pencil starts to stick and get more difficult to use, it's probably dried out. Time to toss it.

BLUSH: 3 years

Despite a long shelf life, be alert to changes in color, smell or consistency.


Discard them sooner if you start to smell an off odor or the overall texture seems to have changed.


When it's time to discard, you'll notice that the product starts to separate and may have an odor.

SELF -TANNERS: 6 months to 1 year

Self-tanners take on a funny smell when they're past their prime. They become less effective and you may get a lighter or inconsistent "tan".

FRAGRANCE: 1 to 4 years

Perfume fades in 1 to 2 years: Toilet water: 2 to 4 years. Store in a cool, dry place away from any sun light.

DEODORANT: 3 years

The active ingredients don't last forever, and once they're inert, the deodorant isn't effective.

Nail Polish: 6 months to 4 years

The less it's exposed to air and sunlight, the longer it last. Store in the refrigerator.