How to Find out Shelf Life of Cosmetic and Beauty Products

I am not a fan of beauty products and prefer light makeup or just say touch up. But recently I am attracted to products mainly related to lips J , lip stains actually.

Recently my mom was on phone with my aunt talking about my lipstick in a photo, saying it suited me really well. That shocked my mom, making her think do I have any!! as I don’t use beauty products much, well I reminded her that my sister gifted me some  J. She then reminded me that she gifted me that some 4 -5 years back L and might have expired. That made me think, do they even have an expiry date??!! Of course, they are full of preservatives they do get expired why I haven’t thought about it.

So, I made some research and gained some knowledge which I am sharing with you guys. Tabulating the data always helps me understand everything easily so, I made a table in this case as well ...

Firstly, the expiration date applies once the product is opened or the seal is removed.
Expiry dates are printed in many ways.

  • If you see "12 M" on the symbol that means the product will last up to 12 months after it has been opened.

  • Expiry date or number of months for manufacturing date is directly printed on the product.

Secondly, most of the products do not have expiry dates printed. But generally the 
right times to know when to toss a product away are as follows:

How to identify
Tip to increase shelf-life


2 years for lipstick, 1 year for gloss and balm
lipstick becomes dry or your gloss is extra sticky
NEVER apply directly from the tube. And avoid tub containers if possible.
Do not share, use a brush instead while sharing.


1 - 2 years
Polish gets extra gooey or has separated into layers and won't blend
Choose a thinner nail polish while buying it is a  easy way to increase the product life
Also adding polish remover for thinning the polish reduces its shelf life.


2 - 3 months
gets clumpy or smells weird
Do you share your mascara?? Don’t, stop sharing it! This is a guaranteed way to spread germs.
If you do have to share, use disposable applicators and no double-dipping!


3 - 5 years
Dries out and breaks easily.
Sharpen them before each use
If possible use different pencil for eye and lip or sharpen before shifting.


6 -12 months
separates into layers or the colour has lightened

Keep makeup out of sunlight. Store them in cool place.


2 years
Expired powders tend to be more dry and flaky than new ones.

Clean your makeup  tools on a regular basis

2 years
change in colour or scent
Go for a bottle with a pump rather than one in a jar. More exposure to air less shelf-life.

HAIR STYLING PRODUCTS (Most are alcohol-based)

3 - 5 years
Fragrances - smell bad.
Cream products - curdle and separate.
Gels and waxes - get dark or turn yellow or become crusty.
Store your hair care products in a cool, dry place.

Another last but not least tip, if you used a product when you have some allergy toss the product. It might cause irritation later when you don’t have any infection. Or in such case use a different applicator so you can toss it away instead of product itself J.Well following these rules will make you toss lot of products but its for your own beautiful skin.


  1. Thanks for these amazing guidelines on expiry dates of cosmetic items. Cheers


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