How Long Does Makeup Last??

 I just did a segment on Fox  Arizona’s Breakfast Show

all about how long makeup products last.

If you google the shelf life of makeup you’ll find all kinds of hysteria

that will make you want to throw everything you own in the trash

and buy all new products.

I think that’s a load of hooey.

Here’s the lowdown, according to me.

* Cosmetic products are loaded with preservatives and last a long long time.

Even organic products contain preservatives and frequently have as much as 50% synthetic preservative in them.(Synthetics last much longer than natural preservatives)

Even if a product has the USDA Organic seal on it, it only has to be 95% organic, so you may still get synthetic chemicals in the mix.

* When reading the ingredients in makeup, the preservatives, most commonly the paraben family,

will appear as, amongst other names, long chemical names that begin with propyl, ethyl, methyl, butyl,etc etc

and frequently end with zoic or zoic acid. Without them your products will have the shelf life of a glass of milk on a kitchen counter.

* The shelf life of your products is largely determined by you, and how you take care of them.

1. Keep them out of direct sunlight

2. Keep them away from heat       

Ideally store them in a drawer or cabinet.

3. Maintain really good hygiene standards. 

Keep products clean

Don’t put fingers into the

Put lids and caps back on them

Sharpen pencils regularly

Clean your makeup brushes regularly

Replace makeup sponges frequently.

* You can generally tell when a product has gone bad.

1. The texture changes. You may see separation in the product, or you may just notice it looks funny.

2. The color changes. Obvious in a lipstick or foundation, but in more transparent products you may see a milkiness or cloudiness or you may see a white lotion has turned a yellow shade. If the color has changed, throw the product out.

3.The smell changes. If the smell has changed at all its a good idea to throw the product out. Preservatives keep products from smelling funny, so if the smell is off then it may mean the preservative has lost its strength.

 * Mascaras tend to need replacing most frequently.

If your mascara is drying out or flaking, its time to replace it. Generally they’re good for around 12 weeks.

Try to buy fewer products and go for good quality, rather than having masses of the cheap stuff.
Cheap products contain the cheaper ingredients (such as the cheaper synthetic preservatives) and in higher concentration. These ingredients are more likely to cause Dermatitis, allergies and irritation.


  1. July 21, 2010 / 7:36 pm

    Very cool tips! Thanks!

  2. michelle
    July 22, 2010 / 5:05 pm

    Fantastic! Really informative! And look at you!! You need your own show! You are fantastic on camera.

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