How Long Do Beauty Products Last?


All things must come to an end, including the contents of your makeup bag, your medicine cabinet, and shower caddy. Unlike food and medicine, though, beauty products don’t have an expiration date. Check out this handy guide to the shelf lives of makeup and skincare products.

When you’re purchasing new products, you can use marker or a label maker to note when they will expire. Or, you know, buy less of the stuff because you’re not going to use it all anyway!


A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • By cleaning your brushes regularly and caring for your products, you can extend the shelf life.
  • These guidelines apply to more mainstream brands — natural products have a shorter shelf life.
  • Err on the side of caution if you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts or other issues.
  • If you smell something funny or if the product has taken on some weird characteristics or consistencies, toss it!

Next page: expiration dates


Mascara/Liquid Eyeliner: 3 months.

Pencil Eyeliner: up to 2 years.

Eyeshadow: 4 years maximum.

Blush/face powders: 1 year.

Liquid Foundation: 6 months.

Lip Products: about 1 year.

Nail Polish: about 2 years.

Next page: skin and hair products

Skin & Hair

Lotions: If it has a pump, 3 years; if not, about 2.

Anti-aging creams: anywhere from 3 months to a year. You might notice that they start smelling rancid — that’s sign it’s time to toss!

Shampoo & conditioner: up to 3 years.

Bar soap: 3 years.

Perfume: 2 years.

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Jo S.
Jo S.4 days ago

Thank you Katie.

Jo S.
Jo S.20 days ago

Thank you Katie.

Pepe Pops
Pepe Pops3 years ago

that photo is sooooo wrong!

Rebecca Willis-watkins

hmmm, really? I have a lot of old products, but some of the above information in the article I don't understand. I think that bar soap can be used even if it is fairly old.

Georgina Logan
Georgina Logan3 years ago


Angela N.
Angela N.3 years ago

thanks :)

Anne G.
Anne G.3 years ago

Hmm, I've been using some very old cosmetics.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

They last until they go off. :-)

Anna Ballinger
Anna Ballinger3 years ago

Thank you for this informative information.

Despina V.
Despina Vekris3 years ago

Thank you