The Dish with DDR: Beauty Products Expiration Dates

The Dish with DDR: Beauty Products Expiration Dates


You realllly love that eyeshadow palette you’ve had for some time now and can’t live without that three year old discontinued lipstick – I know. I get it. You just CAN NOT, WILL NOT part with it. However, my friend, you must learn when to let go. If you’re still holding on to makeup or skincare products well past their expiration date, chances are they are carrying some funky bacteria that could cause some serious irritation, rashes, blemishes and beyond!


According to the FDA there are no regulations or requirements under US law that require cosmetic manufacturers to print expiration dates on labels or packaging. Therefore, it is up to us as the consumer to know when to toss our beauty products.

So, how do you know when to toss a beauty product?

  • A simple intuitive tip, use your senses.  If it smells, it’s probably time to go. If the formula changes in any shape or form, byeee. If the color goes awry, toss it. If a product seems to be unusually runny, lumpy, clumpy, or has separated…time to go!
  • Examine a product’s packaging. If the packaging has expanded or is warped in anyway, that is a good sign the product may be expired as well.
  • Products with water as the first ingredient have the shortest life (after opening).
  • Products with no water (think any powder product) last the longest.
  • Products labeled “all natural” that don’t have synthetic preservatives have a shorter shelf life.
  • Take note of the date your purchased the product and when it was opened.
  • Products that contain synthetic preservatives (no matter your feelings on them) will last longer than natural, organic, farm to jar products. No worries if you’re a purist, though, you’ll just need to replace your products more frequently.

Now, 7 ways to make your products last…

  1. Store products in a drawer or cabinet.
  2. Always wash your hands before using any product.
  3. Don’t share products with others.
  4. Don’t “pump” your mascara.
  5. Store products in a cool, dry climate.
  6. Clean caps and packaging after use with an anti-bacterial wipe.
  7. Sanitize makeup with a spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol

After much research, I made this convenient chart for you to know just when to toss your products. 


Beauty Product Expiration Chart

BONUS TIP: I always like to take inventory of my beauty cabinet at the end of every season to stay on top of anything that needs to go. September is a perfect time!

Hope these tips are helpful! If you have any other tricks to prolonging the life of your products, I’d love to hear from you!



NOTE: Resource referenced:



  1. danielle

    This is super helpful as I was just tossing old mascara yesterday and staring at my old liners thinking it might be time to toss them too. Thanks for the tips and chart!

    • ddelrusso18

      Glad to hear Danielle! :) thanks for reading!