Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


Do you keep track of expiration dates on your beauty products? If so, how do you keep track?

Temptalia's AnswerNo – I go by smell, consistency, color, etc. If anything changes, it gets tossed/recycled.

Thanks to Judith for today’s question!

Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

37 thoughts on “Do you keep track of expiration dates on your beauty products?

  1. Nah. I’m pretty much the same way (I guess; I haven’t had a product go bad in years). If I had to throw away any expensive, limited-edition items…Lord help whoever’s holding the trash bag.

  2. Ellen

    I like to write on the packaging the date I first used the product. Other than that I have a similar protocol to yours.

  3. Pamela

    I am diligent only with mascaras. I put labels on them so that I know when to buy new mascaras. Everything else is instinctual.

  4. Sarah

    Haha NOPE :) I shall use my mascara for as long as it needs to run out, I don’t follow that 3-month rule lol and i nevet have.

  5. no….I have stuff that I bought since the early ’80s. They are part of my musuem of makeup….alot that I have never even used….I dont keep mascara or face cream that long, but have makeup from Ralph Lauren, Halston, originals of YSL and Chanel when they were first launched…and even Guerlain…Very iconic brands……some that no longer exists.

    • anna_a

      This is so exciting! I’m a fan of some of the brands you mentioned. And a makeup museum sounds like a very cool idea. Have you ever thought of making a photoblog/tumblr and post pictures of these vintage products? I’d love to see them, and I’m certain I’m not the only one!!!

  6. amanda

    I do! I put tiny stickers with the date I purchased/opened the product on everything I own. I’m especially neurotic about products with a wand. I know no matter how clean my skin is, when I apply it, the wand will most likely pick up something from touching my skin. A bit weird, I know.

  7. I do, I keep the expiration dates on the products for reference. But of course, if my mascara smells before then, I’ll still toss it.

  8. I am actually really good at remembering when (more specifically the exact month) I bought what, so i go from that. With mascaras, I feel like they run out and dry up by 3 months anyway, so I get new ones and powders last a long time…I have sprayed them with 90% alcohol and it just dries up and doesn’t affect the powders (blush, bronzer, face powders, even MAC MSFs) at all!

  9. No, I go by the same thing as you… My own instinct, on mascara I will throw out them before they go bad but i keep them longer than 3 months

  10. AS

    I never throw anything out unless it runs out or breaks irreparably. My mom even has eyeshadows from the 1970s that still work just fine LOL!

  11. If I did, what would happen to all the lovely limited edition powders, palettes, and other pretty things I own? ;) I don’t even throw out mascaras every 6 months, I have been using some on and off for the past 2 years and they’re still fine. I throw lipglosses out when they smell funny, and I have thrown a few old eyeshadows out because they faded and went all crumbly, but even those were several years old and very cheap.

  12. cydoniac

    same here…the only things I’ve ever had to get rid of because they went bad were 2 Dior lipglosses…they smelled so terribly from a point on that it was plain disgusting…ewwww….!other that that,I never throw away anything when the label says I’m supposed to….

  13. The only thing that I toss after a few months of use is mascara, I don’t want to risk an infection!

  14. Yazmin

    Only mascara s i buy one or maybe two each time. everything else is on how it looks, the smell, the consistency. If its something that i tresure, like my tom ford lipstick bought by my late aunt, then i wouldnt throw it away, regardless of if i cnt wear it anymore. i would just keep it for sentimental value

  15. Mariella

    Nope, with the exception of products with SPF which I know does lose its potency after the expiry date but even with SPF products, I will use them a short while beyond the expiry date since they don’t lose their efficacy all of a sudden on that particular date. With other products, I go by smell, consistency, etc.

  16. Nadia

    No! I go by smell, consistency etc too. I’ve never had a problem doing it this way. And I use all my mascaras until they are finished/dried out. So no 3 month rule there either.

  17. I sort of do what Christine does: check for myself and see if something smells or looks bad. But if it is turning, I will try to use as much as I can before it’s no longer usuable. That way, I feel like I haven’t wasted my money.

  18. Niki

    I am an organization freak and I keep and maintain an Excel Spreadsheet on which I list the following information:

    1. The date I purchase a product.
    2. When I introduce into “circulation” into my collection.
    3. If the product contains information regarding product expiration, I list along with an approx. date in which the product is “suppose” to expire.
    4. The date I remove a product from collection with a note as to why it was removed (i.e. I re-gifted it, tossed it, used the product up, if I will repurchase the product, etc.).
    5. Any other pertinent information I deem necessary.

    With all that said, I don’t following the expiration dates on products or the general expiration dates for makeup, for I go by commonsense test: smell, consistency and color. I go through my entire makeup collection once month to re-assess my needs, decide if I need to go on a No-Buy and/or Project Pan assignment and to check out the condition of products.

  19. Meg

    I tend to pay more attention if it’s, say, a moisturizer containing sunscreen. There’s almost always an expiration date on it, and I try to use it up before that date arrives. But that’s because I’m borderline psychotic about protecting my skin from the sun. The only other item I’ll throw out before I finish is mascara. I can never remember when I opened it, though, so I just kinda do my best to guess when it needs replacing.

  20. yes its important to keep track coz the quality of the product will not be the same as before the expiration date

  21. No, I go by smell, consistency and color.

  22. Lizzi

    I follow the expiration rule for mascaras only pretty much. Other than that, same as you.

  23. anna_a

    I do keep track but I keep using products beyond “expiration date”. Smell and consistency are better guides. The only exception is mascara because my eyes are very sensitive and I don’t find it wise to risk. I keep the 3 months rule.

    I wish more companies had a return/recycle policy like back2mac, everything goes stale at some point and we throw it away, it ‘s so much better if it can be recycled (and we get a little something in return).

  24. No. I’m the same as you. I don’t wear makeup everyday, sometimes I go a couple of weeks without it. So a mascara tube can last me anywhere from 7-12 months.

  25. AnGeLwInGz

    I keep close track of dates when it comes to mascara but otherwise it’s just smell and consistency.

  26. Manuela

    no i dont. it s impossible especially for eyeshadows. i use even mascara as long as i can)

  27. Emily

    i do keep track of the month/year i buy my products in. although, i don’t throw away the products when they reach their predicted expiration date. i just like keeping track of all the products i have in a notebook :)

  28. Martha

    There is such expiration date on cosmetics?

  29. If there is an expiration date printed on the packaging, yes. But there usually isn’t, so I usually don’t. I don’t even throw out mascara after 3-6 months, I have a tube of mascara that is more than two years old that I still use (although it’s getting dry…) :P

  30. summerblue

    I do the same as you Christina for cream & liquid products. Mascara either dry out or run out before the 3-month mark anyway. SPF is the only expiration date I abide by. I have powdered & mica e/s & face powders that are literally 30 years old & still work beautifully. I do periodically spritz them w/ alcohol to keep the surface clean.

  31. I tried to with mascara, but otherwise unless it doesn’t work anymore or smells or looks funky, I don’t toss it

  32. beachgal

    yes I do look – most don’t have exp dates unless they have an spf in them. I have had some products turn before their date and had to toss them – the one that is been the worst culprit in this dept has been Perricone items. I don’t tend to try new items from that line anymore – I stick with what really works for me. I go through my lipsticks and toss when they are not used, out of fashion but esp if they have a smell. Remember there are no preservatives in BE lipsticks now. Those will turn on you and they do not have any exp date on them.

  33. Vee

    I definitly keep track of expiration dates. I keep liquid foundations/primers for 1 year, concealers, blushes, shadows, liners and lipsticks for 2 years. Mascaras for 3 months and lip glosses and cream products for 1 year.

  34. karen

    funny question, because I just bought a Dior Nude foundation this month and it actually expired in August!! I have been using it for 6 days until I realized. The texture and smell is fine. I really like it! Should I return it ??

  35. LOURDES

    I don’t follow expiration dates for make up. Just for skin care products… especially eye creams. Mascara I try to toss after the 3 months, but sometimes I forget when I opened it. Now here is another question. Should we still follow that 3 month rule on a mascara that we use say only once in a blue?!?!?!?! I have a ton of mascara and don’t use the same one everyday.

  36. Virginia Bravo

    I absolutely keep track of expiration dates on my beauty products! If they don’t have one, I google the kind of product it is to find out how long it’s recommended to keep before throwing it away!