Beauty Guide: Does Makeup Go Bad?

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Beauty Products Go Bad | Elsewhere Magazine The beauty world can be a mesmerizing place. With thousands of products, hundreds of categories and an innumerable number of "rules", it can be difficult to nail down what is true and what is up for debate. In this series, "Beauty Guide", Elsewhere Magazine will act as your navigator to break down terms that you need to know, help you decide where to begin if you're just starting out and pull back the curtain to bring you behind the scenes of this glamorous industry.

Be honest with us: What is the oldest piece of makeup in your collection?

If the answer was "You don't want to know", then it's time to take a good long look at your life and accept that you may be putting expired product on your face.

Wait, makeup can expire?!?!

In short, yes - and it does fairly quickly. Depending on the type of product you are using, some makeup products can expire in as little as 3 months. Luckily, there is a very simple way to determine how long each of your beauty products last.

Beauty Expiration Dates | Elsewhere Magazine

Look at the back of your product (sometimes this symbol is found on the box the product comes in instead), and look for the symbol above. The number that is shown is the number of months that your product will last before it goes bad. It's as simple as that!

Another tried and true way to tell if a product has gone bad (if you don't want to make it easy on yourself and check the expiration symbol), is by evaluating the product's smell and consistency. Does the product suddenly have a stronger fragrance? Does it smell rotten or sour? It probably is. Has its consistency gotten thicker or runnier? Time to throw it in the bin.

How exactly does a product go bad? Great question. This is about more than your beauty product not being as effective as it once was. When a beauty product expires it can develop things like bacteria and even mold - and you are putting that on your face. When you use an expired product, you are opening yourself up to infection and rashes and even more serious illness if mold is involved. Take it from us - this is a situation you should avoid at all costs.

A great trick is to write the month and year that you purchased the product on the product itself. This way, when the 12-month mark rolls around, you won't have to second-guess how long it's actually been.

Much like with food, beauty products don't last forever and, again much like food, you shouldn't allow yourself to use them after the suggested time period. Do yourself a favor tonight and do a quick run-through of your makeup collection. We're willing to bet there are some products that have been collecting dust - among other things - and are ready to be tossed.