Tips for Keeping Your Makeup Clean and Infection-Free

When was the last time you did a thorough cleaning of your makeup bag? And I’m not talking about tossing out those cosmetics thathave been sitting in there for years and have become so old they’re virtually unusable.

Unfortunately, cosmetics can easily become contaminated over time from regular use, and when they do, they can cause irritation and infection if you continue using them. But it’s not as simple as looking for an expiration date (which they typically don’t have).

1. Toss mascara after 2 to 3 months.

According to a report published byElon University, most skincare specialists and cosmetic professionals agree mascara is the fastest thing in your makeup to go bad. It’s also one of the most likely culprits of eye infection. If you can’t remember when you bought your last tube of mascara, give it a sniff and throw it out immediately if you noticea foul smell.

2. Toss eyeliners, eye creams and face creams after about six months up to a year.

Liquid eyeliners and other creamy cosmetics can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria. You may be able to get away with keeping them around for up to a year or possibly longer, but be sure to look for signs of deterioration like smells or changes in color andconsistency. If itlooks caked or shows signs of separation, get rid of it!

3. Toss liquid cosmetics after about a year.

You can generally get away with using liquid cosmetics like foundations and concealers for about a year, but someexperts have been known to suggest replacing them inas soon as 4 to 6 months. The older your cosmetics get, the more their active ingredients break down and the more ineffective they become at fightingbacteria that makes its way in through repeated use.

4. Toss lipsticks and lip liners after 1 to 2 years.

Lip products have a much longer shelf life compared to some of the other liquid cosmetics out there for eyes and skin. Every few weeks or so, you can stick your lipstick tubes in the freezer and leave them there overnight to kill off any bacteria. Alternatively, you can also wipe them down with cosmetic sanitizer wipes.

5. Toss powdered products like blush, eyeshadows and face powder after 3 to 5 years.

Your powdered cosmetics will likely last you the longest without giving you anysignificant problems. While you should be able to get a couple of years out them at most, it will largely depend on how careful you are with hygiene. Rubbing your unwashed fingers or brushes into them often is a surefire way to contaminate them faster!

6. Clean your makeup brushes at least once a month if you use them regularly.

Your makeup brushes get put through a lot, and it’s pretty easy to tell when they should be cleaned. If you use them almost every day, aim to wash them every 2 to 4 weeks. Simply mix two parts baby shampoo with one part olive oil and swirl your brushes in the mixture until they come clean. Rinse them well and then prop them up by the end (brush side down) to let them dry.

7. Throw your makeup bag in the washing machine or hand wash it in warm water with your favorite natural soap.

Your makeup bagmay be just as gross as some of the old cosmetics you keep in it! If it’s made of cloth, you can throw it in the washing machine once in a while. If it’s not exactly washing machine safe, wash it by hand or take some eye makeup remover and give it a thorough wipe down.

I know makeup can be pretty expensive, so throwing them out after just a few months can be difficult. But if you want to get the most outof your cosmetics without risking infection, keep these tips in mind and make sure you always wash your hands and face before applying your makeup.

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Photo Credit: Emily Cox


W. C
W. C6 months ago


Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you

Mari 's
Mari 's1 years ago

Thanks! As I often forget

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Brein Geiselman
Brein Geiselman2 years ago

Thank you for sharing, I was just talking to my sister about how long to keep certain cosmetics.

Ba H.
Ba H2 years ago


Kathryn Irby
Past Member 2 years ago

Noted! Thank you

Sen Heijkamp
Sayenne H2 years ago

Thank you

Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Kathryn Irby
Past Member 2 years ago

I just underwent bilateral cataract surgery, so this is very important to me right now. Thanks for sharing.