How Long Should You Keep Your Beauty Products?

Life has been so busy lately I feel like I’ve been neglecting the house! But a few weeks ago I finally had some downtime to tidy up a bit and realized two major things when cleaning out my bathroom drawers + closet. First, that I’m majorly stocked on backup makeup items. And second, that it’s definitely time to toss a lot of the products I have!

After some extensive research, I’ve pulled together some helpful info to keep in mind when it comes to how long you should keep your beauty products! You’ll notice some of these don’t have a solid timeline and are more of a timeframe. This varies based on how you store your products. Keep in mind that across the board, hot, humid areas aren’t good for storing your beauty products!

How long should you keep your beauty products?

Mascara: 3 Months

Mascara has the shortest lifespan out of all beauty products. Because bacteria (I know, EW!) thrive in dark environments (like the inside of the mascara tube), you should definitely be minimizing the number of times you pump the mascara wand. You can usually tell when it’s reaching the end of it’s life because it starts to get a chalky or cakey.

Lip Gloss + Lipstick: 6 Months – 1 Year

Lipstick is generally good to use for up to one year, and gloss for 6 months. But keep in mind that if you’re using the “long lasting” products, usage is on the shorter side since the ingredients used aren’t as strong for the long-term. Plus, lip gloss and lipstick can dry out pretty quickly if you’re using them daily!

Powder Products: 1.5-2 Years

Most of the products I use are powder-based, which is great news for me in terms of lifespan + not having to shell out money more frequently on beauty buys! Powder products (e.g. bronzer,  blush, and eyeshadow) can last up to two years. As long as the color hasn’t changed and there aren’t any weird smells, you’re good to go.

Hair Products: 1 Year

Hair products typically last a little longer than makeup. But be sure to close the caps of these products tightly to avoid any water and air getting in, which will break down the formula, and make these products useless. Good news is if you use sprays, they should last the longest, since aerosol cans are super protectors!

Nail Polish: 1-2 Years

The lifespan of nail polish really varies, based on the conditions of the place its stored in. High temps + humidity are no bueno, so that’ll shorten the lifespan quickly. How can you tell it’s time to toss? The consistency becomes gooey and more liquidy!

Makeup Brushes: 1-4 Years

Makeup brushes are a tricky one. They can last upwards of four years if they’re high quality and/or you take care of them well! To prolong the lifespan, you should be washing them once a month (at a minimum) – but really once every week or bi-weekly.

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34 Comments

  1. September 18, 2017 / 5:28 PM

    I’m terrible at every one of these except mascara. Once you open it, it seems to dry out by then anyway. But the rest I’m totally guilty of keeping around too long.

    • October 2, 2017 / 3:50 PM

      Ugh, same! Mascara’s always the easiest to see when it’s time for a new one. I wish other products were the same!

  2. Amanda Faber
    September 18, 2017 / 8:42 PM

    Ok now I need to go clean out all of my makeup!

  3. September 18, 2017 / 11:32 PM

    I am guilty of keeping my makeup for way too long. Trying to be better now!

  4. Nicole Coppins
    September 19, 2017 / 9:21 AM

    I definitely need to do a makeup drawer clean out and clean my brushes while I’m at it.

  5. September 19, 2017 / 9:39 AM

    I used to be bad about going through products, but have got much better. When the makeup has the little labels on them it definitely helps!

  6. September 19, 2017 / 11:19 AM

    I need to get better at checking my makeup! I feel like I hoard it all but should toss out the old stuff!

  7. September 19, 2017 / 11:35 AM

    I never follow aaaaany of these because I am such a hoarder. I need to refresh my collection regularly I think. It’s probably way healthier.

  8. September 19, 2017 / 12:45 PM

    I definitely keep a few things waaay too long haha. I’m pretty good about throwing out old eye makeup products like liner and mascara though!

  9. Christine Martinez
    September 19, 2017 / 1:19 PM

    Yikes! hahaha. I better get to purging! Some of my makeup is years old. Especially nail polish! I have so many that are probably at least 4-5 years old lol. Thanks for the info girl.

  10. September 19, 2017 / 1:43 PM

    This info is so important!!! I remember I was surprised to learn makeup had expiration dates haha.

  11. Kristen Jones
    September 19, 2017 / 2:58 PM

    YASS! SO, SO important. Not many people know this info and they are using super expired makeup!

  12. Corey Wheeland
    September 19, 2017 / 3:19 PM

    I definitely need to overhaul my makeup drawer. Thanks for sharing this – I’ve got some work to do!

  13. September 19, 2017 / 4:10 PM

    I’m very slack about clearing out my makeup oops. It feels like such a shame to waste it though! They need to come in smaller sizes

  14. September 19, 2017 / 4:46 PM

    This is such a helpful breakdown! I am always wondering when to toss what and I feel like the internet is not always definitive. And this reminds me that it’s time to toss my mascara!

  15. Jordyn Upchurch
    September 19, 2017 / 6:15 PM

    I need to get in a better habit of washing my makeup brushes, they definitely need it!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  16. September 19, 2017 / 6:48 PM

    This is such an awesome post! I never know how long to keep makeup products so this is super helpful.

  17. September 19, 2017 / 9:24 PM

    Omg I need to go through so much makeup and toss it! It’s time for a deep cleaning!

  18. September 19, 2017 / 10:10 PM

    I did a post similar to this a few months ago with a comprehensive list of decluttering products! Too many times we don’t even think about how they can expire on us and we just keep using them!

  19. September 20, 2017 / 9:45 AM

    It really hurts me to read these posts because I know I keep makeup items wayyy longer than I should but it’s nice to read and remind myself to do a makeup collection purge!

  20. Taylor Mead
    September 20, 2017 / 2:51 PM

    This is so helpful, but honestly I am SO bad at tossing makeup when it’s supposed to be tossed… Hopefully this will be my push to do a serious cleaning and buy some new products!

    xo, Taylor || The Millennial Sprinkle (thesprinkle.tayloramead.com)

  21. September 20, 2017 / 6:21 PM

    Such a good reminder. I have probably hung on to a few items way too long. I also need to get better at cleaning my tools too.

  22. September 21, 2017 / 11:00 AM

    It’s crazy how fast mascara expires! I feel like I need to start labeling or keeping up when I buy my products!

  23. Taylor Smith
    September 21, 2017 / 11:18 AM

    Ooh boy I have mascara that I’ve had for years. I just don’t go through certain colors that fast.

  24. September 21, 2017 / 7:12 PM

    Oh man, I really need to go through my makeup now!

  25. September 21, 2017 / 9:23 PM

    Thanks for the helpful post! I definitely have a ton of makeup that have been open way past their recommended amount of time so I’m going to have to declutter very soon!

  26. Allison Ellzey
    September 21, 2017 / 10:01 PM

    Yep. I definitely need to toss some nail polishes!

  27. September 22, 2017 / 11:28 AM

    Omg yes. Definitely needed this. I’m so bad about keeping my beauty products forever because I hardly wear makeup so my products last for years! I’ve found that when my eyeliner or mascara is going bad, I can always tell because it starts to irritate my eyes.

  28. September 22, 2017 / 9:13 PM

    This is one of those things I always hear conflicting info about! I typically get bored with a product before it HAS to be throw out, so I guess that’s kept me from using things too long!

  29. September 24, 2017 / 9:54 PM

    THANK YOU so much for sharing this! I had no idea how long to keep my lipstick and makeup brushes! Filing this one away for later.

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

  30. September 25, 2017 / 11:34 AM

    This is a much needed reminder, thank you! I had been planning to clean out the cabinet under my bathroom sink this weekend, so I’m going to print this out to help me in that process :)

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  31. October 3, 2017 / 11:01 AM

    I’m so bad at hording makeup that I never use! Need to clean out my bathroom asap!