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When & Why Should You Throw Out Your Makeup?

Most cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, nail polishes and all the beauty products ladies use on a daily basis, do not come with Expiration Dates! The FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to put expiration dates on cosmetics.

basic makeup

What does this mean for you? It means you must use caution, just as you would with expired /bad food or medications. They have the potential to be just as harmful, if not toxic!


Three months ago, my cousin Eleni missed my mother’s birthday party, which is really unusual for her to miss any family event. After talking to her on the phone, she told me the most horrifying story about an eye infection she suddenly developed and couldn’t understand how she got it.

She described it as a “slight itchy feeling with some watering” in the eyes. At first she thought it was allergies perhaps from all the cleaning she had done at her mom’s house. The antihistamine didn’t do anything and the next day her eyes were slightly puffy and pink around the eye lashes. She said she couldn’t wear her contacts nor use any makeup and the itch became progressively worse.

She tried a home remedy with chamomile compresses to relieve the discomfort but that didn’t seem to help either. By the time the weekend rolled around (and my mom’s birthday), her eyes were fiery red, very tender with crusty eye lids and the itch was more then she could bear.

blepharitis - infection of the eye lashes   http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/blepharitis

She didn’t know it at the time, but her friend who had just started a home business selling makeup had given her some samples to try…. they had already been used!!!


According to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in Illinois, the most common problems relating to infection, injury and visual loss among women occurs from using mascara, eye liners & lash curlers that are loaded with bacteria or are too old, flakey and dried out.

Conjunctivitis - allergic reaction of the conjunctiva (white part of the eye) when allergens, flakey makeup or foreign substance enters the eye. 

Blepharitis - a chronic inflammation of the eyelid, redness, itching, burning and a feeling that something is in the eyes.


“A two-year study was conducted on public makeup testers. Researchers who evaluated makeup testers and applicators at cosmetic counters in department stores, drugstores and specialty stores during high-traffic Saturdays found staph, strep, E. coli bacteria on 100 percent of these makeup trials. They also found the catchy cold sore virus herpes and conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye on the testers.” by Caduceus Medical Group, April 27, 2010


  1. Never use “samples” at cosmetic counters. The applicators have been used on many other eyes and infections can be transmitted. Do not share eye makeup with others.
  2. Use crayon or liquid eye liners instead of pencils that need sharpening. Any time the tips get stiff they can break off into the eye. Wood shavings from sharpening can scratch the eye and injure the cornea.
  3. Utensils used to curl, brush or separate lashes may contain nickel or other metals that cause irritation.
  4. Mascara should be replaced ever 3 to 4 months. If eye infection occurs, replace all makeup  immediately including the applicators & brushes. Moisturizers & Lotions are good for up to 1 year.
  5. Chemicals in makeup removers can cause irritation & temporary blurred vision.
  6. Do not use saliva to thin clumps or wet mascara brush. Saliva contains bacteria which can infect your eyes.
  7. Do not apply eye makeup while in moving vehicle. Even the slightest poke on the eyeball can become a serious injury.
  8. Insert contact lenses before applying makeup and take them out prior to removing makeup. Any particles, oils or residue from makeup can  cause corneal abrasions or ulcers.
  9. Avoid makeup that contains a metal sheen or glitter, especially in eye shadow. The glittery particles are sharp like broken glass.
  10. Prefer non-waterproof eye makeup and wash it off every night before bedtime. Apply heaviest amount at the tips of lashes and nearly none at the roots. Do not apply new layers over days-old mascara.


Another common infection caused by bad cosmetics is Paronychia, an infection of the cuticles characterized as red, swollen and tenderness on and around the base of the nail bed. In severe cases, puss-filled blisters appear in the surrounding tissue of the nails.

Although there are several different reasons for this infection (illness, cleaning chemicals, and constant biting of nails), beauty products can also be a major source of inflammation.

Manicure tools such as cuticle scissors, buffers and nail files can sometimes be too harsh on the nail beds where the cuticles hug the nail and cause them to tear. Additionally, if the tools are not properly sanitized there is a high risk of infection.

When cuticles are dry and cracked or produce hang nails, people tend to pick the skin off by biting or pulling it off. The saliva in the bite is an instant invitation for a cuticle infection, but even if that doesn’t occur, the application of an old or “bad” nail polish will do the damage!

clumpy old nail polish


Most women find it difficult to throw away cosmetics especially if they paid good money for them! If makeup containers are half full, ladies keep them much longer then they should and often forget the date they were purchased.

An easy solution is to mark the date you open them with a sticker or a sharpie marker.

date your makeup


    -concealer - up to 1 yr.
    -eye liners - up to 3 yrs.
    -eye shadow - up to 3 yrs.
    -lip liner - up to 3 yrs.
    -blush - up to 6 months
    -mascara - up to 4 months
    -lip stick - up to 2 yrs.
    -nail polish - up to 2 yrs.
    -make up brushes - wash every 3 months
    -applicators w/ sponge tip - replace after 2 months

*IF your makeup is: crumbling, flaking, too stiff, too hard, smelly, gooey, oils separate, clumpy, too dry, lumpy, scratchy ---- DITCH  IT!!!

makeup art

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