How Do You Know if Makeup Products Are Expired?

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If we want to draw attention to our best features and let our imaginations run wild, makeup is the way to go. Putting on a little makeup—whether it’s just mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick, or foundation—can do wonders for our self-esteem. However, there is a time limit on using makeup products, just like any other cosmetic. Itching, outbreaks, and infections are all possible outcomes of using outdated cosmetics. This article’s topic is recognizing when cosmetics have gone wrong and need replacing.

Understanding Expiration Dates

Allow me to explain the concept of expiration dates before we go into the particular indicators of makeup expiration.

The period-after-opening (PAO) symbol, which is typically a number and the letter “M” on an open jar icon (e.g., 6M, 12M), is included on the majority of cosmetic items.

By looking at this symbol, you can see how many months the product stays functional after opening it.

Remember that this is simply a recommendation and that factors like storage conditions and product formulation can affect shelf life.

Even though not all manufacturers display the manufacturing date on their packaging, paying attention to this information is crucial when purchasing beauty items.

The total shelf life of a product is heavily influenced by its formulation, contents, and preservatives. Products made from natural ingredients containing no artificial preservatives may not last as long as those that do.

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Additionally, the lifespan of your cosmetics is significantly affected by how and where you store it. To extend the life of your products and keep them in pristine condition, store them in a cool, dry area out of the sun.

The PAO symbol is an excellent place to start, but keeping these other considerations in mind will help you keep your makeup fresh and safe.

Signs Your Makeup Products Has Expired

Change in Texture

A noticeable shift in texture is a telltale sign that your cosmetics are about to expire. You should keep your foundation intact if it gets too thick, clumpy, or separates.

Likewise, it’s recommended to replace your lipstick and mascara if you notice that they get dry and crumbly or clumpy, respectively.

How the makeup glides onto your skin is another factor to consider while assessing its texture.

Makeup goods like eyeshadows and blushes are sometimes in different shapes when they become chalky or tougher to mix.

Using a brush to pick up powders could be tricky since they can develop a hard surface layer. Not only does this make application more difficult, but it also diminishes the product’s former effectiveness on the skin.


You can consistently achieve the best possible finish and color payoff from your cosmetics by tracking how easily they apply and how they feel on your skin. This will help you decide when to replace them.

Unpleasant Smell

A neutral or pleasant aroma is ideal for cosmetics. Makeup with an offensive odor indicates that it has passed its expiration date. If something smells wrong, listen to your nose; don’t buy it.

Aside from the original aroma, it’s important to remember that although some cosmetics may not smell particularly strong when first opened, they may develop an unpleasant stench due to chemical changes or contamination.

For instance, when the oils in lip balms become bad, they can start to smell bad. Similarly, cream-based cosmetics like concealers and foundations can begin to smell musty or sour if they go wrong.

The degradation of the preservatives, which maintain the product’s stability and safety, is a common cause of this alteration. That said, if a makeup product has an unusual or foul odor when opened, it’s probably wise to toss it out as it’s no longer working correctly.

Alteration in Color

Makeup products might change hue when they’re about to expire. For instance, you may tell it’s past its prime if the eyeshadow palette begins to change color or forms a film on the surface. You should also update your liquid foundation if it oxidizes and changes color on your skin.

Products with a strong tint, such as lipsticks and blushes, might make this color change stand out more than others. Your once-bright lipstick may start to look dull, and your blush may stop adding as much color as it once did.


The product’s formula is degrading, which means these alterations aren’t only superficial; they could tell the product is no longer safe or effective.

The product’s ability to mix easily with your skin can be affected by color changes, resulting in patchy or uneven application.

You can tell whether it’s time to upgrade your makeup collection by keeping an eye on the color consistency of your current favorites.

Irritation or Allergic Reactions

You risk skin irritation and allergic reactions if you use expired cosmetics. Itching, redness, or a burning feeling after wearing cosmetics could indicate that it has expired. Stop using it right away and see a dermatologist if you need to.

Presence of Mold or Bacteria

Makeup products are susceptible to mold and bacteria growth in damp environments. In cream-based cosmetics like blush or concealer, it is essential to watch out for mold growth symptoms like fuzzy patches or black spots.

Disposing of any cosmetics exhibiting mold or bacterial growth is imperative because using contaminated cosmetics can result in diseases.

Expired Sunscreen Protection

Sun protection factor (SPF) is an ingredient in many cosmetics, particularly BB creams and foundations. Sunscreens are great, but their efficacy can diminish due to component degradation.

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To ensure you’re getting enough sun protection from your cosmetics containing sunscreen, check the expiration date and replace them as needed.

Changes in Performance

Old cosmetics might work better than new ones. For instance, if your mascara has expired, it may not provide volume or length to your lashes the way you want it to, and if your eyeliner has also expired, it may smear or fade rapidly. A drop in performance can indicate that the product has seen better days.

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Final Thoughts!

Using cosmetics that have passed their expiration date might harm your skin and cause unwanted side effects. Makeup can last longer and remain safe if you are familiar with the telltale indications of expiration.

Check your products frequently for texture, fragrance, color, and performance changes. To keep your skin healthy and beautiful, update your cosmetic items as the PAO directs.

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