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Is It Really That Bad To Use Expired Makeup?

Is It Really That Bad To Use Expired Makeup?

Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to that bronzer, babe.

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You know that lipstick or eyeshadow palette that’s been in your drawer for years? The one you just can never part ways with, especially if you find out it’s discontinued and you’ll never find that exact shade EVER again. 😭😭

We’ve all been there…

But how bad is it really to keep using those products past their prime? Are makeup expiration dates actually as serious as they claim to be? Let’s dig into the details and find out!

Your makeup will often give you clues when it’s time to part ways. Weird smell? Toss it. Texture change? Say goodbye. If your foundation starts to separate or your lipstick feels dry and crumbly, it’s time to let it go.

(Credit: TRP)

Beauty products will usually have a tiny jar icon with a number like 6M or 12M. This indicates how many months the product is good for after opening. So 6M means 6 months, and so on.

Typical Use-By Dates

@kameliahq Banyak rupanya yang kena buang… #tiktokmalaysia #tiktokguru #buwatjetiktok #makeuphacks #makeuptips #expiredmakeup #kameliacosmetics ♬ Diam Diam Menyukaiku – DZARGO
  • Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner: Good for 3-6 months. Remember, your eyes are sensitive so be very careful what you put near them!
  • Foundation and Concealer: Usually lasts 6-12 months. If it smells funky or changes colour, it’s time to let go.
  • Lipstick and Lip Gloss: These can last up to 2 years, but if they feel dry or sticky, out they go.
  • Powders (Eyeshadow, Blush, Bronzers): These can hang around for 1-2 years. Keep an eye out for any changes in texture.

“But 1 or 2 more months of use won’t hurt, right?”

Sure! As long as you’re okay dealing with breakouts and eye styes lah.


Expired makeup can be a breeding ground for bacteria. This is particularly true for liquid and cream products like foundation, mascara, and lipstick. Bacteria thrive in these moist environments, and using these contaminated products can lead to skin infections, terrible breakouts, or eye infections. Not a pretty picture, right?

Ineffective Ingredients


Over time, the active ingredients in your makeup can break down, making the product less effective. For example, SPF in your foundation may no longer protect you from the sun, and the pigments in your eyeshadows might not be as vibrant. This means you won’t get the performance you paid for.

Skin Irritation and Allergies
@beautifoles Do yourself a favor and throw out your expired makeup 😫 — #acne #breakouts #expiredmakeup #skin ♬ original sound – beautifoles

As makeup ages, its chemical composition can change. This can lead to skin irritation, rashes, and allergic reactions. If you notice your skin becoming red, itchy, or swollen after using a particular product, it might be time to check that expiration date.

Malaysian regulations require that all cosmetic products display clear expiration dates and manufacturing dates. 

Cosmetic products must undergo rigorous safety assessments before they are marketed, which includes evaluating ingredients, chemical structures, and potential exposure levels. They must pass microbiological and chemical stability tests to ensure safety and effectiveness throughout their shelf life. 

Before being sold, products must be notified to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency  (NPRA), involving a detailed review to ensure compliance with safety and quality standards, and adherence to the guidelines set by the NPRA and the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive.

Don’t keep your makeup in the car, especially during hot seasons!


Your makeup loves cool, dry places. Also, avoid keeping your beauty stash in the bathroom where heat and humidity can speed up its expiration. Store it in a vanity cabinet or drawer.

Clean your brushes and applicators regularly. Not only does this help your makeup go on smoother, but it also prevents bacteria buildup. And never share your makeup – what’s yours should stay yours!

So, do you still want to use expired makeup now?

While it might be hard to part with your favourite products, your skin and overall health will thank you. Stick to the expiration dates, store your products properly, and maintain good hygiene to keep your beauty routine safe and effective.

Besides, it just gives you more reason to buy new makeup! Happy shopping! 😝

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