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Ange Demon013

Think Smart, Sweat Less
April 07, 2010

Beauty Products Expiry Dates

One of my aunts is a self-confessed bargain whore. She can't resist sales. She didn't even realise that cosmetics have expiry dates :S

Mum got some L'Oreal anti-ageing cream from her that was too runny or you could see the colours being parted. Then I checked the expiry date, which was 3 years ago. Since then, Mum tells me "If Aunty asks what I want for birthday gift, don't say anything about cosmetics".


1. Always check the expiry date when purchasing something on sale. It would be marked EXP. As below, it means this product will expire on 1 Feb 2012. Sometimes you'll see it clearly on the packaging or box.












For cream tubes, it's a bit more tricky.


2. Look out for this symbol. It advises you how long you have after opening the product. This is very handy,especially when you can't see any expiry dates.

In pic below, 12M means you have 12 months after opening to use fully the product.


3. Sometimes I take my Sharpie/marker pen or my labeller to write on container the expiry date, so that it gives me an incentive to finish it as soon as possible or  at least it explains why the product has gone bad and it's time to throw it in bin.

UPDATE: 4. If you can't see any of the above expiry signs and if the product doesn't contain preservatives like paraben, I would say that you better finish it within 6 months. That is the latest time period you can use an organic product.


Guidelines regarding shelf life of makeup (taken from Bobbi Brown's 2004 No More Mess) which I somewhat try to follow:

  • Mascara - 3 to 6 months
  • Cream blush - 6 months to 1 year
  • Concealer, pencils, eye shadow, eye cream - 1 year
  • Foundation, lipstick, moisturizer - 1 to 1½ years
  • Face powder, powder blush - 2 years
  • Lip gloss - 2 years


Pic taken from Getty Images


More Tips:

  • It's time to throw them away If the colour is off, water runny texture, bad smell.
  • Be wary to look at expiration dates on Sale Items before buying them.  Check too if anyone else have opened the product before you and see and test the product texture and feel from the testers.
  • If you get any kind of infection, dispose of all the products you were using. For example, if you get an eye infection, your eye shadow, liner and mascara need to go in the trash.
  • Never share makeup, especially eye products and lip products. If you happen to, ensure the makeup brushes are always clean before someone else uses them and after they use them.
  • Close the lids on all products tightly, and store them out of the sunlight in a cool and dry place (including your perfumes). One day, I wish I can buy my own little bar fridge to store all my skincare and some makeup stuff and place it in my bedroom (like toner, eye cream, nail polish, liquid makeup). Wouldn't that be handy? :)
  • I try to go more towards moisturiser with a pump function. For the skincare/make up who are in pots, you better use a spatula/cotton bud to take out the product as remember there might be germs under your long nails.  I also found that the beauty products that come in a bottle/pump format dry more slowly than those in jars with lids. There are also refillable pump bottles available at Priceline and Daiso stores in the travel containers section.
  • Don't add water (or anything else) to products unless the manufacturer's guidelines recommend you do so. For example, Mary Kay Cosmetics specifically recommends adding water to their eye shadows to darken the color. Otherwise, don't do it! (including adding some nail polish remover to old nail  polishes in the hope to revive them)
posted by

Very useful entry! The most important tip would be tip no. 2, I never knew what that symbol meant and I saw it on products that don't list an expiry date, but now I do. Thanks for this! (:

posted by

I'm happy that I can help people! :D

posted by

hey, this is featured in http://blog.onsugar.com/Sugar-High-8030579 :)

posted by

Oh! Excited by hearing this. Thanks for letting me know XD

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September 2014


This blog is a compass of me - my thoughts, beauty/makeup/fashion passion, attempts in being green, easening house chores, my sweet tooth recipes, my travels and my personal ramblings.


I currently live in Western Australia and have a Sino-Mauritian background.

I have a sensitive combination skin with a very oily t-Zone area (nose, between brows and chin) and prone to mild cystic/hormonal acne.

I have light-medium skintone with warm undertones and am MAC Shade NC25-NC30.


Any product reviews I make are my personal opinions. The products I love might not work on your skin, especially if we live under different climates, follow a different lifestyle and diet.

All products reviewed were either purchased by me or offered as gifts by my friends/family circle, unless stated otherwise.

I am interested in beauty products and make-up manufactured with less chemicals and toxins as possible. I like to test products over 1 month to spot any skin irritations

If I am given products from companies to review, I will point out that it is a sponsored review and it won't influence the content of my blog. I will give a honest opinion of the products I review from my personal experience, be it positive or negative comments, .

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