[The 411] When to Toss Your Beauty Product

A lot of us, especially those who are extreme beauty enthusiasts, have products piling up in hills. It’s not uncommon where a lipstick is bought, used a couple times, shoved waaayyy back deep into our drawers—to be “newly discovered” three years later. Then, we proceed to use it (*yuck*). With all beauty products, everything has a shelf life. Consider this as your wake-up call, and use the guide below to clean out all the old junk you’ve been hoarding. Afterwards, go out and replace them with new goodies (aka time for shopping).


Starting with…


Liquid face products such as primers, foundations and concealers can be stored up to 2 years before it has been opened. However, once that seal is broken, the product expires anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. To best extend its life, store in a cool, dark place—if it’s easily exposed to heat and light, discoloration and lumps might form. Powders can be stored up to 3 years before it’s open; however, once it’s been exposed, it is recommended that you use within 1 – 2 years after opening.

Lip products such as lipsticks and lip liners should be used within 2 years of opening. If for some reason a lipstick has slightly changed in colors or the texture looks cracked, that means it’s time for the tube to go. To best extend its life, use a lip brush instead of directly applying it to your lips. As for lip glosses, it has a shorter life span and should be thrown away after 1 – 1.5 years of opening.

As for eye products, a tube of mascara should only be used up to 3 months. This little wand does magic for our eyelashes, but it’s prone to trapping loads of bacteria. The built-up of contamination can lead to eye infections, and no one wants that look. Liquid eyeliners should be tossed 6 months after opening. Again, this stuff gets really close to your eyeballs, meaning, if it’s contaminated, it can lead to eye infections. Pencil eyeliners have a bit of a longer life span, which has a recommendation of being tossed out 1.5 – 2 years of opening. Powder eyeshadows can be used up to 2 years after opening, but creamy eyeshadows should be thrown out after 1 year of use. And finally, eyebrow gels should be tossed after 1 – 1.5 years of use.



It has recently been popular where people store their skincare products in the fridge to keep it cool. However, when those products are taken out and brought to room temperature again, it can experience altercation where the texture and color changes. So, try to keep your skincare products inside a cooler room inside the house (hello AC) or if you keep it in the fridge, put it back into the fridge as soon as you use it.

Lotions and face creams—particularly ones in jars—should be thrown away after 1 year of opening. Try to use a spatula to help with its life span. With toners, we tend to go through them pretty fast, but if it’s been a year since it’s been opened, it’s definitely time for a replacement.

Sunscreens should be replaced every year for the best protection.

Also, if you love samples (I mean, who doesn’t), make sure you’re using them as soon as you can. A sample is not always kept in the same packaging as its full size form, and can be subject to spoiling real quick.



With hair products, if it’s kept in a jar, try to replace them every 1 – 1.5 years. If it’s in a can (like hairspray), it can be stored up to 3 years after its opening date. Shampoos tend to last about 2 – 3 years after it’s been opened.



Body washes can last anywhere from 2 – 3 years after its opening date. However, body scrubs should be replaced every year—especially if they contain natural exfoliating ingredients. Bar soaps, once it’s been crossed with water, should be thrown away after 1 year of use. Fragrance is a bit easier to store—it often contains a high amount of alcohol and preservatives, so it lasts longer. However, try to update it every 2-3 years—most of the time, this will naturally happen anyways.


So, after reading this, do you think it’s time for some cleaning? Let us know what you’re throwing out this weekend and if we missed any products!

With love,

Jenny from Cupidrop

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