Do you follow the "period after opening" time found on the back of makeup products?

Do you follow the “period after opening” time found on the back of makeup products? Somewhat? Not at all?

Not at all! I’m fairly good about mascara after 3-4 months.

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Italia Avatar

This is exactly what I do! I do not follow and I go by smell. Once in a while you even hit that funky smell, BEFORE it’s time to throw it out. So I say it’s a good indicator!

Heather F. Avatar

Nope, but I chuck products when the smell/color/texture changes. Mascara always dries up pretty quick anyway and is duly disposed of.

I think the use-by dates for powder products are often silly–I’ve had one blush harden, but the rest of my eyeshadows and blushes apply as well as they day they were purchased!

Sarita Avatar

No, I don’t think that’s gross. But, as already stated, if something starts to smell odd or the texture changes, I get rid of it.

Katherine T. Avatar

Nope. I even keep mascaras around forever and never had a problem. If I threw out my makeup as recommended, I would be dead broke trying to replace everything. I usually wait until it’s obviously gone bad – bad smell, turned color, pigment has separated, dried out, then I toss it out. But fortunately, stuff doesn’t go bad that often. For cream based shadows, I always use clean hands and brushes to apply to a clean face, then tightly close the lid.

koolchicken Avatar

I used to, but then I realized I was just throwing away money. How often do I really use my mascara, or my blush, or foundation? I don’t wear makeup everyday and tossing a foundation that I’ve not contaminated “just because” seemed like a huge waste of money. Same with mascara. I mean, you can’t avoid contaminating it, but I was wearing it once a week at best and I like YSL. At $30+ a tube I don’t want to toss something that isn’t clumping, smells fine, and is still mostly full. I just try to keep my brushes clean, and if something seems off, changes color, or I suddenly start breaking out then I toss stuff. But otherwise it stays.

Jenny Avatar

Only for mascaras. Lippies, though, get the smell test when I know I’ve had them a few years. If they smell rancid, I toss them. If they still smell fine and the texture is good, what’s the harm?

Nancy T Avatar

Nope! I am guilty with only one exception: mascara, unless it’s a special occasion mascara, in which case it may be a year or slightly longer. Basic gel liner, roughly 9-10 months. But the rest I just use up!

Liberté Avatar

Well I don’t know… I have 3-4 eyeshadows since 2005. o.O I’m not looking at the “period time” at all. If I see that the product performs bad on me or creates problems, I’ll throw it away, but I never had issues with something that I have a long time..

Mariella Avatar

Nope! The only items where I’m conscientious are those with sunscreen although I’ve read that even they are good for 3 to 6 months after the expiry date….they do start to lose their effectiveness, but only gradually. Since I wear mascara so infrequently, I’d be tossing tubes that had been barely used if I followed the mascara guidelines so with those, I “live dangerously” and go by smell and texture. Interestingly, a few years ago, a consumer/women’s issues program here decided to test old cosmetics in an independent lab to see just how bacteria-filled old products were. They got staffers to bring in all manner of old and expired products and there was a THREE YEAR OLD mascara among the items they tested and yet not a single one grew any bacteria in the lab!

Fran Avatar

Oh, dear! I never noticed that! I’m more about trying to make my makeup last as long as possible by keeping it sanitary, spraying products with Beauty So Clean, etc. I’m trying to get better about not keeping mascara so long. After all, I usually have deluxe samples to try, and there’s some good drugstore mascara available, and I’m a fanatic about cleaning my eye brushes with alcohol, so what excuse do I have for hanging on to mascara? I just hate throwing things out if they still seem usable.

Deb Avatar

I only follow a 3 month rule for mascara. Other than that, I get rid of items when they change consistency/texture, when I’m not using them anymore (that’s often older items that I’m bored with) or when I have some other reason to think it might be off (doesn’t perform the way it did).

There’s no way I would toss every eyeshadow at the two year point and I don’t see why that would be necessary for powder products given that I always use a clean brush with them and keep them away from moisture.

Alex Avatar

Nope. Hardly ever. (except for mascara because it dries more or less after the recommended discard date anyway.) Like I’m sorry but I just don’t believe that my lipstick is magically going to go off 6 months after it first touches my lips… and although some people argue that it’s not hygienic, I sanitize mine when I clean my vanity and my lipsticks and glosses that I’ve had for over 3 years look and taste exactly the same as they did when I first bought them. The other day when I was at my grandmother’s house I dug out my mum’s old make-up bag that she left behind about 10 years ago, and surprisingly all the shadows and eye pencils in there were just as creamy and pigmented as they once have been.. (I didn’t dare to test them on my eyes though because 10 years is a long while and I only have one pair of eyes 😉 )

Sarah Avatar

I do with SPF or natural/organic skincare that could degrade or putrefy, as there is an absence of paragons/stabilizers. But I generally cycle through that stuff on the regular. I keep mascaras 3-4 months, generally. I learned the hard way getting an eye infection years ago after repeatedly using old mascara. I also tend to toss glosses and lip products/balms in tubs that my fingers touch after 1.5 years. But everything else I hold on to until it either smells or looks strange.

I have a Dior foundation that is going on year 3 that I still use. It’s in a pump and I keep in stored out of light. So far, so separation and no bad smell.

helen Avatar

Anything in liquid form that i use around my eyes (ie: waterline liners and mascara), i will throw out within months suggested but liquid foundations, cream/liquid blush and highlighters will hang around alot longer and anything powder (i’m afraid to say) has been in my stash for years!
With lipsticks (that i wipe with alcohol after every use….yes, i’m a Virgo!) the only criteria is the smell test.

HeavyMetalJess Avatar

Only for mascara. Otherwise, I just throw something out when/if it changes consistency. I am just finishing up an eye shadow I’ve had for well over 10 years. Never had an issue with it and color payoff was fantastic until the end.

chris Avatar

The only rule I follow is for mascara, as it will begin to clump after exposure to air (3-4 months) is my rule. I do regularly smell lipsticks and glosses. I will toss liquid foundations, polishes if not used and have begun to separate.

Elizabeth Avatar

I use a waterproof mascara that dries out fairly quickly, so I write the date opened in marker on it and pitch it after 4-6 weeks. (it’s Covergirl lash Blast WP) so not a huge investment. The rest of my makeup is mostly powdered minerals so no, they don’t go bad, I make sure to wash my brushes regularly, but i tap out product so I don’t worry about bacteria

Jennifer Avatar

not really other than mascaras and I keep only one foundation at a time and I find it takes me a year to use up a bottle of foundation…I was wondering though, how do you know when a lipstick is no longer usable? I have too many lipsticks and I’ve done some googling but haven’t really found a definite answer

JulieS Avatar

When they get those moldy white/green spots on them, change color, start to smell different than when you bought them, or when they break your skin out in any way, like an allergic reaction. Lol, or when its time to go shopping for this years’ colors!

Meghan Avatar

Same here – I almost never follow packaging “best before” suggestions, except for mascara I’ll get rid of after 3-4 months. I’ve just realized my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (liquid) in Opal is 2 years old and contains SPF! It doesn’t smell bad and the consistency seems the same. It’s pretty well-loved but there’s still tons of product. If I repurchase I’ll definitely go with the travel size. I think powders much last longer than the packaging states anyway, and I have a ton of palettes so I think they’ll last forever.

Christine Joy Luikuo Avatar

I don’t either, unless it already has an awful smell, other visible changes on product or it has already caused itching. I remember one time when my mother handed me down a pressed powder that she bought/received few years ago but was never used. I tried it on but it caused me itching but I’m not sure if it was because it was old or I was really allergic to Avon powders (I used another powder prior to this – newly purchased – and I got itching as well). With that, I tossed it away.

jaz Avatar

Mascara yes- I get a new tube every 6-8 weeks. ( I buy drugstore mascara so I can do this). But everything else as long as it still works , im good

Sherri Avatar

I’m so glad other people do the same thing as me. Otherwise, I’d be tossing hundreds of dollars into the trash. I’ve had some MAC shadows for yearrrrs and they still do great! I watched a YouTube video where she threw away older products that were “past their date” and I almost cried. If it’s not a cream product or a mascara that’s gone bad, you’re just wasting money!

Rachel Avatar

I feel like that date is only relevant if you use the product daily. I’m not going to throw out a waterproof mascara after 3 months when I only use it a couple times a year. That seems like a waste to me.

miekogirlie99 Avatar

they have such a thing?!? i’ve never noticed it! is it on just drug store or high end items too??

so with that said – never LMAO

laura Brooks Avatar

Not at all lol I’m the one who wears makeup every once in a while and doesn’t keep track very well need to get better that goes with brushes too and I’m a Laura but didn’t submit that question

Sarah Avatar

No way! Haha, I think it’s funny when people argue that you should, citing that you could get an eye infection or something from old liner or mascara. Like, I don’t know where YOU’RE putting YOUR mascara/liner, but mine’s only being used by me, in a sanitary way. I keep everything until it changes scent/color/texture. Waste not, want not!

Kris Avatar

Nope! I’ll toss toss lipstick when they stand smelling bad. I’d toss liquid products if they start to seperate or othwise appear to go bad, but I’ve never had that happen. Mascara gets tossed when it starts to feel dried out, not based on a date. I’ve had some poweder eyeshadows and blushes more than 20 years and never had an issue with them.

Diana Avatar

Nope. I tend to go through thinks I like before that date. Usually I pay enough attention to notice any changes in texture or smell. If my eyes and ears didn’t notice a change the sensitive skin on my face would definitely let me know – usually with a rash, hopefully a mild one.

Rachel R. Avatar

No. I stick to a 3-month rule with mascara unless it gets funky before that time. Otherwise, I keep things till they change smell, taste, texture or color/appearance.

Telesilla Avatar

I don’t bother checking the date except for sunscreen. I even keep mascara longer than I should, but I just don’t wear it often enough and it’s hard enough to throw out drugstore brands, let alone something expensive and only half empty.

_An_ Avatar

I only follow the rule more with mascaras, sunscreen products, and LUSH/other natural products.

I have a ton of mascaras, but I only open 1 or 2 at at time. After 3-4 months, I’ll toss and choose something new so it kinda makes me excited a bit. Haha
I tend to use mascara almost everyday so I’m satisfied with 3-4 months of use.

Maggie Avatar

Nope–not for makeup, but for skincare it’s a different story. Some active ingredients (like vitamin C and chemical sunscreen ingredients) can change in the bottle. Sunscreen I toss after a year and vitamin C after a few months. I toss out mascara quite regularly–sometimes less than 3 months. Liquid eyeliner I also toss if I’ve had more than a year. Lip gloss I try to apply with lip brushes to prevent contamination. Otherwise, as long as texture, smell, and general formula is the same, I hang onto it.

Natalia Avatar

Generally I don’t, unless it is obvious that a product’s gone bad 🙂 The only exceptions are mascaras (as for everyone here, it seems) and foundations. Mascaras I do not usually keep past 6 months (yes, that’s long, but I’m the only one who uses it and, of course, I’ll toss it earlier if I see changes in texture, etc.). Foundations I usually remember roughly when I opened it and the recommended period and try to use it up before that, but I do not automatically toss it if it has been open for a bit longer, I check how it looks and performs and decide based on that.

Candice Avatar

Same here, I believe the product is good until it’s no longer good. If it’s the same texture, smell, etc. then an arbitrary date will not make be believe it’s “gone bad”.

You’re right about mascaras though, that’s a bit different. I’m not *that* good about mascaras because it’s trickier… But if I have doubts, it’s gone! It happened once or twice that I wore a mascara that I felt might’ve caused some eye irritation, so it was thrown out that day. Ideally I’d have a better idea of how long I’ve had it but time gets away from me sometimes and there are times when I don’t use mascara for more than 3 months.

Lauren Avatar

No!!! I would have to toss like 25 eyeshadow palettes, every eyeliner I own, and a similar number of blushes if I did. I don’t really pay attention with mascara, but naturally I find it gets thick and clumpy anyway after around 3-4 months, so I wouldn’t want to keep it longer anyway.

Kat Avatar

Not at all. I won’t use mascara for more than about three months, but with anything else, I need an actual reason to throw it out (it looks funny, it smells funny, it doesn’t work anymore).

Melle Avatar

I’m a bit late to the party for this question. I will toss mascaras after about 6 months. And, I will toss out my sunscreen lotions based on expiration dates. I keep everything else until I finish it or get tired of it.

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