EXCLUSIVE: When you need to change and get rid of your cosmetics as per Shahnaz Husain

All cosmetics have a shelf-life, including make-up cosmetics. Products should not be used beyond that so that you do not expose yourself to contamination and infection. This is certainly more important for make-up cosmetics for the eyes.

Updated on Mar 15, 2021 10:58 AM IST  |  392.9K
EXCLUSIVE: When you need to change and get rid of your cosmetics as per Shahnaz Husain
EXCLUSIVE: When you need to change and get rid of your cosmetics as per Shahnaz HusainEXCLUSIVE: When you need to change and get rid of your cosmetics as per Shahnaz Husain
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Going past a shelf-life date can affect the stability of the product. Although our Ayurvedic skin and hair care cosmetics have a shelf life of 3 years from the date of manufacture, make-up cosmetics have a shelf life of 2 years. However, some make-up cosmetics have an even shorter shelf life.

In general, in the market, you make find that many make-up items may not carry an expiry date, so it is all the more necessary to have an idea of when it is time to change your make-up. Cosmetics are not only exposed to dust but also mix with the natural oils of the skin through their applicators. This can affect the stability of the product. The way you store your cosmetics, including make-up items, is also important because it can also affect the shelf-life. A good way of knowing that a make-up item is past its expiry date is by the look and smell of the product. If a lipstick smells rancid, it means that the oils may have separated. If your mascara is dry or too sticky, it means it’s time to get another one. It’s always better to practice strict rules of hygiene, not just with cosmetics, but also with applicators.

The time to change your make-up is according to the item’s shelf-life, which is as follows:

Foundation: Change water-based foundations after a year, while cream-based foundations may last longer – for about 18 months.


Powder:  Loose powder can last for two to three years, but compact powder lasts for two years and may sometimes become drier even before that time. If compact powder cracks or crumbles, it’s time to change it.

Blushers and Eye Shadows have the same shelf life:  Powder blushers and powder shadows last for two years, while cream blushers and shadows last for about 18 months. If you find the colour of the blusher or shadow has changed, it is time to change it.

Mascara lasts for three to six months. The pumping action of the applicator brush of roll-on mascaras is said to make them more vulnerable to bacteria.

Eyeliners have a shelf life of two years. So do lip-liners. If you use eye pencils, sharpen them regularly. This keeps you safe from contamination.

Lipsticks also last for two years, but lip gloss lasts for less time – 12 to 18 months. As already mentioned, if there is any colour change, look or fragrance of the product, the stability of the formulation may be affected. So it’s best to stop using them.  


If you find your mascara has become dry even before the use-by date, do not add water or cream to soften it. If you have an eye infection, throw away your eyeliner, mascara and eye pencils, even if they are not past their shelf life date. If there is an eye infection, any redness or irritation, avoid using cosmetics till you have got over it. Always wash your hands before applying make-up, because we often tend to use our fingertips to apply or blend. Needless to say, avoid sharing make-up cosmetics.

Caring for make-up products is of great importance because they can be affected by heat and moisture. The same goes for make-up brushes and applicators. Store your lipsticks in the refrigerator when it is hot and humid. Sharpen your lip and eye pencils regularly and keep the lid on. Make-up brushes and applicators should be washed once a week, with warm soapy water, after adding a few drops of antiseptic lotion. Rinse well with water and allow the brushes to dry naturally before keeping them away. Change the make-up brushes every three months.

With make-up cosmetics, it is always better to be safe than sorry!


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