Do You Know When Your Make-Up Expires?

It’s something you may not think about, or have ever thought about – but it’s been on my mind lately – do we actually know how long we should be using our make-up for? Like the food in our cupboards and fridges, our make-up and skincare have ‘use by’ dates too!

Most British cosmetics companies have a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol: an open jar, and a time monthly that you should dispose of the product after opening. This should look like this:

POAs don’t appear on everything – I believe that’s because they don’t legally have to if the product life is more than 30 months after opening.

So, we all have hoarded old make-up – I’m bad for this with lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes in particular. I had a clear out when I heard that using expired make-up products can be a serious risk to your health.

I’d say be most careful with anything that goes near your eyes.

I made this mistake once using an eye cream that I didn’t know had expired, and it gave me a nasty case of pink eye and swelling. That’s not the only symptoms that can be the result of using expired make-up – it can cause redness, pain, swelling, pus and pimples too. Gross. The moral of the story – if in doubt, don’t use it. Other warning signs your make-up or skincare has expired include a change in smell, colour or texture.

With this in mind, here’s a bit of a guide on when to bin it:

This sounds pretty grim, but there are things you can do to prolong the life of your products. Keep them germ-free by:

  • washing your hands before applying make-up or skincare
  • not sharing your make-up with anyone else
  • keeping them in a dry area, away from direct heat or sunlight.

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