Ask An Expert: Does Unused Makeup Still Expire?

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Ask An Expert: Does Unused Makeup Still Expire? featured image

Every week, we like to take questions from our loyal readers and provide them with answers from the experts. Recently, we received a question in response to our post, Your Mascara Is How Old?, from one of our readers. Laura asks:

What if you have never used a beauty product even once? Is it okay to use it years later? Even if it smells and looks good? I have had makeup for years that I’ve never used and just found it again so I’m wondering if it’s okay? It looks as good as the day I purchased it!

We reached out to Los Angeles, CA, dermatologist Debra Luftman, MD to get all the details on this questionable matter.

It’s safe to say that if a product is six months past the expiration date, it’s time to get rid of it. Dr. Luftman says, “Some products degrade faster than others. So if it’s a certain skin cream with active ingredients, it can cause extra irritation, or it might not even work if you use it past the expiration date.” As for makeup, it can separate and won’t go on smoothly if it’s expired, even if it was only opened once.

It’s especially important to abide by the expiration date of sunscreen because it can completely degrade and lose its effectiveness.

To preserve the life of your beauty products, Dr. Luftman says, “Keep your makeup and skin care products sealed tightly so that bacteria and yeast stay out.” She also advises to store your products at a moderate room temperature, since fungus grows in hot, moist environments. So don’t leave beauty products in the shower, as that’s a prime fungus-growing environment.

Related Links:
Lead in Lipstick: Should You Be Worried?
FDA Eyes Safety of Cosmetics

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