Makeup expiry date
Beauty hacks

Mouldy makeup – why you should pay attention to all expiry dates

Makeup expiry date

Recently, I had a mini scare whilst doing my makeup (as you do). Surprisingly, it was not stabbing my eye with a mascara (I can’t see, I can’t see) or winging the eyeliner only to find out it covers half of my eye. When I put a small pump of foundation onto the palm of my hand, I discovered it went off. It turned very watery and in general looked like a bird pooped on my hand. Gross. In addition to that, it had a quite nasty smell. It has never happened to me before, so I decided to do some digging and share my newly discovered knowledge with you.

Fasten your seatbelts, we’re going for a crazy ride.

If you think that you can ignore any expiry date of any product in your life – well, you’re not entirely right. How many of you are guilty of not checking the use by date on products when doing grocery shopping? I can easily raise my hand for that one. I’m slowly developing a habit of checking it, because off-food gives me anxiety, plus it’s a waste of money. And nobody likes that. Expiry dates are a thing we associate with food. And this is the biggest mistake. Because beauty products also have the ‘use by’ dates.

Makeup expiry date

I’ll admit it straight away. I have never checked how long I can use certain makeup products for. I’m poor, I don’t have time to run to the store every other month to buy a new mascara. For me, expiry date used to be more of a guideline. I’m working on that. Here’s why.

Makeup is made of many chemicals. I’m not going to get into scientific ingredients because I’d need a PhD in Chemistry and I’m pretty confident I’d still say the names wrong. After the expiry date, these chemicals start breaking down into different chemicals. These may or may not be so good for your skin (with the emphasis on may not). Using your makeup longer than the producers advise to may result in breaking out and skin irritation. But that’s not all. This skin irritation can very quickly turn into contact dermatitis. And then you’ll end up with dry and scaly skin, rash, loads of pain and scratching… Even scarring. Do you really want to take that risk?

It’s easy to see when your food is overkept. It gets weird, mushy, sometimes has loads of furry friends moving in… It’s not so visible with makeup. But if you know what to look for, you’ll be able to spot it as well. The first thing you should look for is this little sign.

Makeup expiry date

It’s called ‘PAO’ which stands for ‘Product After Opening’. It always has a number followed by little ‘m’ inside it. This stands for the amount of months the product can be used for after you break the seal and open it. Another thing, you should look for is changes in your products. If your mascara is getting clumpy or, God forbid, smelly – time to say goodbye. If your foundation starts separating, gets runny or, God forbid, smelly – say farewell to this one. And so on. If you know your products, you’ll know when they change. And I don’t think anyone would actually put anything that has a funny smell on their face.

Makeup expiry date

It is really important to keep an eye on the expiry date of your makeup. Even if you feel bad about tossing something away, think about all the treatments you’d have to get and visits to the doctors if your skin reacted badly to it. Not to mention the time it would take to heal it. My advice would be to write down on the actual product the month and year of opening. Or to have a special notebook (oh, do I love stationary, any excuse to buy more) and make it all pretty and shiny and write it down in there if you’ve got time and patience (I don’t).

I’m leaving you with that info for now. Enjoy the rest of your crazy ride called life (oh I’m getting so philosophical).

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More like this: The Eyebrow Game – Confessions of an Overplucker  and My Evening Skincare Routine

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35 thoughts on “Mouldy makeup – why you should pay attention to all expiry dates”

  1. Thanks for sharing! I have to be honest, Im probably the worst sort of person because I know this information, but still dont look or be aware of when I opened a product. Thats bad eh! You have reminded me to be more concious, thank you x

  2. This is such an important subject that isn’t talked about nearly enough! I went to put my foundation on the other day and it smelled horrific, not to mention the weird grainy texture going on in there. I was appalled and immediately checked all the PAOs on my makeup, probably the kick up the ass I needed to do a declutter, if I’m being completely honest xx

    Janelle |

    1. It can be so difficult to declutter though! Sometimes I look at the products and know their use-by date passed a long time ago but I just keep using it for the sake of it. I’m learning though and definitely think my skin is more important than a few extra pounds I could spend on a new foundation.

  3. Oh god thank goodness I’ve never had any of my makeup products get to the point where they’re producing a smell….

    Definitely should keep a better eye on expiration dates though, with food it’s like second nature to think of that but with makeup you just don’t tend to remember as much!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  4. This is such an important topic! Not many people are aware of some of the cautions of using mouldy makeup, especially mascara. Really enjoyed reading this lovely xxx

  5. The only reason I knew about this was because my sister never checked and it messed with her acne a lot from wearing expired makeup. Definitely would be careful!

  6. I’ve never paid too much attention to expiration dates on products but I definitely will now after reading this post! Time to find the money for a new foundation!

  7. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for how I can stop forgetting how long I’ve had a product! That was my bug bear, I could never remembered when I actually opened it, writing it down is the perfect way to remember. I would love to have a notebook for that! #stationeryaddict Thank youu for this post lovely, it was perfect.

    Gemma |

  8. I don’t worry too much with mascaras and stuff because I get through them so quickly but I really need to take more note of lipsticks and foundations etc cos I chop and change so much with those, god knows how long I’ve had some of them for!! I’m glad you’ve done a post on this as people like me would just let it go over their heads but this is deffo a reminder I need to go through my collection!
    Alice Xx

    1. I don’t put makeup on so often nowadays so it takes me ages to go through my products! I went through everything and it turned out I still have lipsticks and lipglosses from years ago! They didn’t look the same as before. I’m glad you like the post! xx

  9. I always pay attention to expiry dates wheb it comes to liquid makeup products but not so much with powders to be honest! I definitely need to start writing down when I’ve opened a product just to make sure 😊

    Anu | Based On blog

  10. This is a great reminder that I need to check my make-up! I never really thought that make-up could go off but now I know this, I definitely need to buy some new stuff – especially mascara! Thanks for the post x

  11. I’ve had makeup go off date before similar to the foundation that you mentioned here, I also really keep an eye on my lipsticks as even though most are dated 2 years some do not last that long x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿

  12. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never taken the use by dates too seriously with my make up but I think I need to start checking! Cue the clear out! Xx

  13. This is so useful! I need to start writing down the dates of when I open my make-up so I can be more careful with it as I only tend to do it with mascara ATM x

  14. This is a really useful post! I only found out about makeup expiration dates a few months ago and now I always make sure I double check what I’m using! I wear makeup so infrequently that I need to be especially careful that I’m not putting expired product on my skin – the risk of contact dermatitis isn’t something I think is worth it!!

    Abbey 🌸

  15. I always write the month and year of purchase on all my make-up products so I know when I can’t really use them anymore ^_^ Very helpful post!

  16. Really informative post! I’m so bad for checking expiry dates, I just use the product, then I forget about it for a while and find it again a few months later and use it again! Definitely going to check them now! Thanks for the post.

  17. This a super informative post, I often forget to check products for their dates. I am forever throwing away mascara as I don’t want to put them near my eyes if they smell weird. However the rest I am awful with! Gonna go check my collection now, thanks Julia!

  18. This is a great post!! When I first got into makeup and watching people’s makeup collections on YouTube. I wanted to buy loads and loads and have loads of drawers and storage full of makeup! As I have gotten older I have realised, you would never be able to use all of this before it goes out of date and how are you even going to track when you got what? So I choose to have a small makeup collection of the things I actually love and use anytime I am going to put on makeup.

    hayley |

    1. I wanted to do the same! I watched Zoella have such a big collection of makeup but then I realised having 50 bottles of foundation doesn’t really work out that great. I have three and two of them are out of date now so I have to throw them out because there’s no way I’m putting that on my face. Smaller collection also means that you can find the products you’re looking for quicker because there’s not so many things to go through!

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