How concerned are you with expiration dates?

I pay more attention for liquid and cream products, particularly ones like mascara, liquid eyeliner, and lipglosses–any product where I use the actual applicator on my face/eyes/body that has a liquid/cream formula. There are products I mark as “keep but don’t use,” and then products I don’t need any longer but are too old will get recycled/tossed for this group. For powders, though, not so much!

— Christine
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I generally stick to expiration dates when it comes to liquid/cream products that come in close contact with my eyes (mascara, undereye concealer). Other than that, I only get concerned about tossing something if there is a noticeable change in how it looks, smells, or feels.

I’m very careful with cream/liquid products that go by my eyes (mascara, eyeliner) because of how easily you can get a bacterial eye infection. I also make sure I throw out my foundations or cream face products once they hit their expiry dates. Just like you, I don’t care as much for powder products unless they start forming weird lumps, then I throw them out.
Funny enough, just the other day, I ordered a foundation from Sephora and they had sent me an expired one! It was sitting in their warehouse for over 3 years when I had checked the batch code and when I opened it up, there were weird lumps on the dropper and the foundation smelled foul. I’m super careful with foundation now.

Sephora sent me last year a Too Faced Born This Way manufactured (by the batch code) in 2013; I didn’t know it was possible. I kind of believed it was a batch code mistake. Until I tried pumping a little bit on the back of my hand just to check it out… let’s say the foundation wasn’t liquid anymore, it was almost rock hard in the bottom, nothing was coming out from the pump.

I do recommend people always checking the batch code when they get Sephora minis (the ones they offer with points or codes); if it’s not a new release, it might be expired. I thing 1/2 of mini mascaras I got were beyond 3 years of manufacturing. I was also surprised to find that some products are manufactured even 1 year before release date.

I check the consistency and the smell. If it smells nice and have the consistency as when I bought, I keep it.

With my liquid and cream products (foundation, concealer, mascara) I go through them fast enough that they don’t expire. I don’t keep track of powders. I only get rid of lipstick if they start smelling weird or if the texture changes.

I’m not. I don’t share my makeup, and if it starts to get funky I throw it out. But I’m honestly not concerned with expiry dates.

I only feel like it’s important to pay attention if you are a professional MUA or if you get an illness that requires you purge your collection.

I know it may not be in the rules, but rarely. Only I use something on someone else and especially if it’s liquid. Creams in particular I tend to double check.

What I do regularly do is clean and disinfect things (brushes: almost every single use; pressed pigments: each time I’m going to use it on someone else; mascara: no sharing; etc.)

I only really pay attention to mascara. I don’t wear foundation and I go through concealer quickly enough that it’s not a problem. Other than that, I just pay attention to texture/scent issues. I am completely unconcerned about powders though, honestly.

I only pay attention to expiration dates on SPF and prescription drugs, like my Retin A. And I just noticed that toothpaste has an expiration date covering the fluoride so maybe that too. Otherwise, it depends on how the item is holding up as time passes.

Not concerned at all. I throw things away if they change color, consistency, if they smell weird or look different in any way. I have glosses that are over 5 years old that look exactly as they did on day one. I never throw away powder products, unless I’m just decluttering my collection.
Funny thing though I have a MAC powder blush that changed color within a year. I found it very odd, it was stored in a dark dry place too so I have no idea what happened!

I’m quite due-diligent with expiration dates, I track the opening date of my products, I check manufacturing date (on websites like ) and throw anything past expiration date.
I would advise anyone to check manufacturing date, you’ll be surprised. I was surprised with Sephora minis received being 5-7 years passed manufacturing date; those things were not going to touch my face (especially eye area).
I do noticed that with time some products don’t work as well. Even with powders… 1-2 years after manufacturing date I did noticed even blushes starting being less pigmented.

My rules of thumb are:
– Anything 3 years after manufacturing date goes to thrash, no matter when I opened it.
– Skincare must be consumed within 1 year of opening. Special ingredient skincare (Vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, etc.) must be consumed within 6 months of opening (I do noticed these go bad fast); with these I try to buy mini sizes if I can. If I can’t finish it by then, I start using it on my body to finish it.
– I keep powders (eyeshadow, blush, etc.), pencils until they reach 3 years from manufacturing date, even if it passes the 3 years mark. If the formula becomes too stiff (or if I notice any signs of going `bad`), the product goes to the trash.
– I only keep one foundation and concealer at a time, so I’ll always finish them by 6-7 months of opening.
– Mascara goes to the trash after 3 months, or faster if it starts drying out or sensitizing my eyes; I have very sensitive eyes. I only keep one mascara opened at a time.
– I try to keep liquid eyeliners for just 3 months (most dry out by that time, since I’ll only have one opened eyeliner at a time), but with some formulas (Kat von D Tatoo Liner, Physicians Formula) I could use them for up to 5 months without issue. I don’t use liquid eyeliner regularly.
– With lipstick I’m very flexible… If it’s a color I don’t wear that often, I’ll wait for the 3 years from manufacturing date. If it’s a color I use often and I carry a lot with me (aka it faced many changes of temperature/environment), I’ll throw it one year after opening. Otherwise, I just try to be careful if the formula changes or for other signs that the lipstick might go bad.

I only am concerned if the product contains SPF that I am relying on. Other than that, I am the only one who uses my makeup and I keep my tools clean. I go by the “if it looks or smells off” rule, otherwise.

I am concerned with the expiration date since the beauty products manufactured in North America are not required by law to have the expiration date printed. In Europe, any cosmetic product that has a lifespan of less than 30 months must show a “Best before the end of” date. The open jar symbol that we see on the beauty products (showing 3, 6, 12, 18 or 24M etc.) represents the PAO (period after opening) during which the products can be safely used without of the risk of oxidation and too much contamination. The issue is that the shelf life of a product (makeup, skincare or perfume) has to take into account the production date regardless of the PAO. If the product is newly launched, there is no problem. But if it’s not the case, you might buy a product that was manufactured three years ago and which is already expired from the production date perspective. Opened or not, even with stabilizers and preservatives added, a product’s formula starts to break down after a certain time. There is no golden rule as it depends on the manufacturer, the formula, the ingredients, organic vs. non-organic, how it is stored etc., but usually the expiration date (from the production standpoint) is 5 years for perfumes (due to high content of alcohol) and between 2-4 years for skincare and makeup. Within this range, powder-based products last longer but it’s difficult to avoid their contamination even in this case, as we use our brushes on the face then we dip them into our powder products. I’ve noticed lately that the natural and organic beauty products manufactured in Canada and US have the expiration date indicated (Y/M/D), aside from the PAO date. Why the mainstream cosmetic industry does not do the same? Personally, I think that if a beauty company wants /takes my money, it’s my right as a consumer to know the expiration date.

Like yourself, it’s just the liquid or cream based products that I will keep mental tabs on when it comes to how long they’ve been coming in contact with either my face, eyes, lips or fingertips. As for foundation, as long as it has a pump dispenser, I’ll continue using it unless it begins to change in smell or appearance. Powder products don’t worry me one iota, though. Generally speaking, neither do lipsticks, unless they take on an odor or look strange.

I have had an unopened bottle of Tarte Maracuja Oil for 3-4 years. I just opened it and it smells fine and the consistency is right, do ya’ll think it’s ok to use?

The only thing I care about is mascara because it’s the only thing that’ll get in my eye. Eyeliner doesn’t matter for me because I can’t get any of it to even apply to my waterline in the first place! Expiration dates are nonsense for other products. If it doesn’t smell or look weird, it’s fine!

As I don’t really use cream or liquid products, expiration dates are not too important to me (apart from mascaras, which I do toss out after 4 months or so).
I have tossed out a lot of my really old lipsticks, so my current batch is pretty good.
Foundations I go through a lot so they never really get stale and I only have two bottles going at the one time.

Not at all, to be honest. They’re there to protect manufacturers from complaints and litigation, not so much as useful information for consumers. I go by sensory changes – if it smells funky, changes in texture or separates out or gets a hard crust, etc then it gets binned immediately.

I do periodic checks and clear outs and keep things sanitary to the nth degree but I have such a huge stash that a specified time lapse expiry date is useless because I can never remember the exact dates I bought things anyway.

I’m not really concerned about this. Usually you finish mascaras before expiration dates and liquid stuff goes dry by then too. When it comes to eye-shadows and lipstick, if I’ve been sick recently I usually spray some alcohol on them, sharpen pencils, or wipe the top. And even when some moisturisers have expired, I use them on my hands, neck, cleavage, feet, you name it.

Not at all. As long as it doesn’t look, smell or feel off, I use it. I do tend to use only one mascara at the time, as well as liquid liner, so those I use until empty or dry.
I have powder products that are so old, I wont even tell 🙂

Really, I only am concerned with them for mascara and liquid eyeliners. If I use any brand/type past three months, my eyes will get styes, itch, and water.

Otherwise, I ignore them. If a products changes appearance, texture, or scent, then I throw it out. I think most expiration dates are just to cover companies butts and/or make people buy more makeup.

Not worried much perhaps is a good thing to rotate items frequently so I catch something gone wrong. I don’t use much liquid anything unless it is foundation or liquid lipsticks but stick to dry eye liners, powder eyeshadows and many of Colourpop whatever consistency they are but they are wonderful both supershock and powder form. I don’t brake out ever from my makeup that I can tell but once a month and I know it is related to ‘Mr. Winderful pms’ omg! I’m about to turn 55 this very April 27 and still having it no kidding! I have had a few night sweats here and there but the darn thing won’t leave my body. I hated it so much when I was running! Especially! Had to skip days of training no fun! Lol! ??‍♀️WTH? Right? I take very low dosage of levothyroxine since childhood for hypothyroidism (under active type) but it is fully controlled. Perhaps my menopause is ‘hypo’ also. Lol! Back to the subject I do smell my lipsticks and mascaras just in case I sense something goofy with them but keep my stash super clean so so far have had no issues and never share my makeup. No pink eye or such. Thank God or the beauty Gods outhere! 🙂

The only time I’m really relentless regarding expiry dates is with sunscreens or products containing sunscreen (although even those are, apparently, still effective after the expiry date, though they do begin to lose their effectiveness). I have to laugh when I see a powder eyeshadow with the caveat that it’s only good for 12 months. Seriously, who among us (people with more than 5 or 6 eyeshadows) ever finishes an eyeshadow (or blush or face powder) in 6 to 12 months? I can remember, many many years ago, Way Bandy saying that powder “lasts between wars, darling”. (I’m pretty sure it was Way Bandy). If things start to smell, I pitch them (I had an Estee Lauder e/s palette many years ago that started to smell within a very short time….something had got into the actual case, I think, because the mirror went all funny). I pitched it. But if something smells fine, hasn’t separated in an unacceptable way (not talking about products that always benefit from a bit of a shake) or hasn’t gone weird in other ways, I keep it til it’s finished.

Short answer: no. For mascara, I set a mental expiration date of about 6 months then go get a new one (or open my backup).

For everything else, if it doesn’t appear to have changed in any way, I keep it. I don’t think I’ve owned a liquid foundation for longer than a year (or so), so expiration isn’t something I’ve had to think about in that case. The only product I’ve ever discarded because it had somehow changed was one of my oldest CP shadows that had dried to a point where it was difficult to use. And for the record, I have lipsticks (in indie chapstick tubes) that are over 10 years old. Powders aren’t even on the radar.

I really only worry about expiration dates if it has to do with eye products or something on the lips! I clean out those products fairly often as to make sure not to cause any sort of bacteria growth! For powders, I’m not as strict, but will do a large cleanout and get rid of things I know I’m not using as much!

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