Cosmetics & Toiletries Expiry Guide!

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cosmeticsexpiry guide

It’s crucial to check your cosmetics and toiletries for signs of degradation. While nothing too harmful can come from using expired products, some may lose efficacy, some may cause minor irritations and some will become downright unappealing and not look, smell or act as initially intended.

For that reason, taking stock of your items once or twice annually can help true up your personal inventory and keep things uncluttered in your bathroom.

When you do get a new item, consider using a permanent marker to write the purchase date on the product, that way you know when you bought it and roughly when to get rid of it.

You can also prolong the lifespan of your products by using clean applicators or clean brushes instead of fingers (mini spatulas), and also keeping them away from heat, light and moisture.

Examine each item well, if you notice a strange texture, smell, colour, film, it’s time to dispose of it. If you want to, test the item quickly and see if it works as well as it did the day you got it. These are great ways to determine if a product is still up and running.


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Cosmetics Expiry Guide

Mascara: Change every 3 months, or after you have an eye infection

Eye liner, liquid: Can last up to a year, or replace after you have an eye infection

Eye liner, potted: Can last up to 18 months, use a clean spatula to scoop a small amount onto a separate palate for use

Eye and brow pencils: Can last up from one to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance), sharpen before each use to avoid eye infections

Eye shadow, liquid: Can last for a year

Eye shadow, powder: Can last up from two to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Lipstick: Can last up from two to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Lip gloss: Can last up from two to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Lip pencils: Can last up from two to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Lip balm: Can last up to 5 years

Blush, cream: Can last for one year

Blush, powder: Can last up from two to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Bronzer: Can last up from two to three years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Foundation, moisturizing: Can last for 18 months

Foundation, oil-free: Can last for a year

Concealer, stick: Can last for two years

Concealer, powder: Can last for two years

Concealer, liquid: Can last one to two years, depending on the quality (test it for performance)

Face powder: Can last for two years

Perfume: Can last for up to two years, store in a cool and dark place

Nail polish: Can last up from one to two years, depending on the quality (test it for performance). If you shake the bottle and the formula won’t mix up, the polish is garbage.

Nail polish remover: does not expire

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Toiletries Expiry Guide

Cleanser: Can last for two years

Moisturizer: Can last for 2 years (if in a pump) or one year (if in a jar), if product contains SPF, check for expiration date on package

Face cream: 6 – 12 months (6-9 months for products in a jar)

Eye cream: 6 – 12 months (6-9 months for products in a jar) once opened

Sunscreen: One year, this is federally regulated

Anti-acne products: Products containing Benzoyl peroxide will only be effective for 3 months, other products can last up to a year however products with retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin C break down quicker.

Anti-aging products: 6 months to a year, again, depending on ingredients (products with retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin C break down quicker)

Shampoo: Can last for one to two years if the bottle is opened, or up to three years if unopened

Conditioner: Can last for one to two years if the bottle is opened, or up to three years if unopened

Hair styling products: Can last for one to five years, products containing alcohol tend to last longer

Deodorant: Can last for three years

Anti-perspirant: Can last for three years, check package for expiration date

Shaving cream: Can last for two years

Toothpaste: Can last two years, always check the expiration date, since the product contains fluoride

Mouthwash: Can last for three years, bottle should contain an expiration date

Soap, bar: Can last for three years

Soap, liquid: Can last for 3 years

Body wash: Can last for 3 years

Body lotion: Can last for 3 years

Rubbing alcohol: Can last three to five years

Tooth whitening strips: Package will contain expiration date

Body bleach cream: Can last for six months if opened, and up to two years unopened

Depilatory cream: Can last for six months if opened, and up to two years unopened

COSMETICS EXPIRY GUIDE

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is a really great and helpful article, but I have to disagree with some of expiration dates. Nail polish actually never expires at all unless the contents have been compromised (i.e. being constantly exposed to light, when they should be stored in the dark.) If they have a funny smell, it’s because it was probably made before most brands went 3-Free. The reason they have an expiration date on them is because it is required by the FDA. I find it strange (and don’t truly believe) that such items as deodorant, mouth wash, and body lotion have a longer life span than nail polish, lipstick, or eyeshadow.

  2. Lol. Some products never expire on me. Depilatory, lotion, sunscreen, and conditioner. Lol Thanks Melissa, didn’t realize my eye shadow would.

  3. I have been using the same sunscreen for 3 years! Being from England we don’t end up using sunscreen very often as it rains more than the sun shines here! I best get me a new bottle this year as I am going abroad! Thanks for sharing

  4. I agree, Peter. I live in Alabama where the summers are long and sunny. I purchased a sunscreen last summer with a 2015 expiration date as well. I am interested to see your reply from Melissa.

    • Once the bottle is open it last for one year. If it’s not been opend it will expire in 2015. I would suggest not buying those huge bottels if you only going to use it a couple of months in the summer.

      -Subscriber/reader from Norway.

  5. Hey Melissa, on the sunscreen I bought last year (2013), it says the expiry date is 11/15. (Nov. 2015) On your website, it says the expiry date for sunscreens is federally regulated to be one year. So I’m confused. Also, I live in Calgary which has short summers, so I only use sunscreen for 2-3 months, which uses less than half the tube. Could you clarify how long sunscreen is good for, and if it’s only for one year, do you have any suggestions on how to avoid having to throw a more than half-full tube out every year? Thanks!

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