Adulting, Beauty, Makeup

Get Ready To Purge Your Makeup! Why It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Your Old Faithful Products


Have you ever been digging through your makeup bag and you pull something out you’ve had for years? Whether it’s a tube of lip gloss, mascara, an eyebrow pencil or something else… I’m sure the thought has gone through your head before. How long have I had this thing? Can makeup expire? And if so, when? This is a daunting question I’ve faced a few times, and I’m here to fill you in on all the questions about makeup expiration dates.

Can makeup expire?

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YES! A thousand times yes! Makeup expires, much like anything else, but how long of a shelf life it has depends on the type of product it, how it has been stored, and whether it has been opened. Here’s a really cool trick to figure out how long your products will last.

There’s actually an expiration date on your makeup, much like there would be on an item of food. The only difference is is that the makeup expiration symbol gives you a range of time instead of a specific date. So instead of saying your foundation expires in November of 2023, it says that you have “12 months” or “3 months” or “36 months.” Because of this, it’s up to you to keep track of when you’ve opened each product so that you can make sure you’re not using it past its expiration date.

Makeup Expiration Printable

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If you’re already a bullet journal expert, consider creating a makeup expiration tracker so that you can keep track of everything. If this is something you don’t think you’ll be able to make yourself, we’ve done it for you! On our brand new Etsy shop, we’ve created a downloadable printable that you can use to track your makeup. Simply write down the product, the date you opened it and calculate when it will expire based on the little symbol on the back. If you decide to purchase our $1 downloadable, we are donating 10% of every purchase to the Container Recycling Institute, so we can promote makeup packaging recycling. While we know you can definitely make your own table with ease, we hope we can raise some money for a good cause with our fun (and really cute) little printable. Speaking of recycling, let’s talk about how you can recycle your expired makeup.

How To Recycle Expired Makeup

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Getting rid of old makeup creates waste. If you simply throw all of your expired makeup into the trash, you’re sending it straight to the landfill. Good thing there’s actually a much better option, that is surprisingly really simple. Many makeup products come in packaging that can be recycled! Terracycle has a personal care and beauty recycling program with Garnier, so you can recycle a good amount of your makeup, skincare and hair packaging. Here’s how:

  • First, rinse out all of the extra product leftover within the packages, and make sure they are dry before continuing.
  • Then, you can either ship your expired makeup packaging to Terracycle for free, or you can find a drop-off location near you. When I took a peek at the map, there were so many locations near me that I could drop them off. They even had one at my nearest Target.
  • Then, you can even get reward points to put toward charities, depending on how big of a package you sent to them

This is so easy, and definitely worth it. This was really helpful recently when I was helping my little sister clean out a ton of her old makeup. If you’re wondering what can and can’t be recycled through this program, check the FAQ page. Beyond this program, many makeup brands have their own recycling programs, so make sure you do brand-specific search inquiries when the time comes. Some brands even offer a brand new item in its place!

We hope this article has helped! Let us know if you have any other makeup expiration date tips in the comment section below!

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