How Long Should You Keep Your Make Up?

How Long Should You Keep Your Make Up? from Rebecca Loves Weddings

Ladies, it’s time to Spring clean your make up bag!

Make up has an expiry date and using products after they’ve expired can lead to skin irritation, infections and break outs. Cosmetics that have been opened and used for a while can harbour bacteria so it’s important that you look after your make up and throw it away once it’s expired.

In the EU, cosmetics have a “Period After Opening” symbol printed on them that looks like like this.

The ‘M’ stands for month so 12M means it’s safe to use for 12 months after being opened. When you buy something, make sure you check how long you can use it for. It helps to write the date you first used it on the outside with a sharpie.

If you’re not sure what to keep and what to throw out, here’s my handy visual guide to make up shelf life.

Here are some handy tips to help your make up products last.

  • Clean sponges each time you use them
  • Wash brushes every couple of weeks
  • Use a spatula rather than your fingers to scoop
  • Throw away your mascara immediately if you get an eye infection
  • Screw lids on tightly to stop products from drying out
  • Throw away products with broken or missing lids
  • Sharpen lip and eye pencils regularly
  • Store cosmetics in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight


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Hi I’m Rebecca

I’ve been a makeup artist and hair stylist in the fashion industry for 15 years. Welcome to by blog where I write about all things beauty, makeup and skincare. Check out my Instagram below for daily content and mini tutorials.