Just like your favorite food, makeup has an expiration date. Let’s be real – we don’t check our makeup’s expiration dates often, and we rarely remember when we opened that last tube of mascara. This makeup expiration chart FREE printable will help you remember when all your cosmetic products expire!
Makeup sanitization and cleanliness is something I feel strongly about. If you read my makeup sanitization series, you know this – and hopefully you disinfect your cosmetics now!
While you can sanitize your eyeshadow, wash your makeup brushes and sponges, and even disinfect lipstick, makeup still expires. Sanitizing makeup helps prolong its shelf-life and keeps you from spreading bacteria, but at some point, you HAVE to replace a product.
What happens when makeup expires?
You know how food can grow mold, smell funny, and make you sick if you eat it after it expires?
Makeup is the same way. (Disclaimer: never eat makeup. It isn’t food.)
After a certain amount of time after opening, makeup expires. When makeup expires, the consistency of the product can change, the smell can turn pretty dang gross, and bacteria harbored in the product can be harmful.
When your makeup is old and expired, it will not perform the way it is supposed to. Have you ever had a favorite foundation, used it for a long time, and then one day the ingredients started separating weird and breaking your skin out? The foundation formula may still be awesome – but your bottle has expired!
Not only does using expired makeup change the performance of the product, but using expired makeup can cause a range of undesirable consequences, including (but not limited to):
- skin irritation
- eye infections/pink eye
Personally, replacing my $7 bottle of mascara every few months is worth it to me when I know I’m preventing an eye infection!
If you’re looking for a great deal on makeup to replace your old products, check out my makeup discounts page for updated sales and promotions.
How to read makeup expiration dates
Makeup expiration dates are calculated from the time you open the product, not from the time it was manufactured.
Every makeup product should have a product after opening (PAO) symbol on the packaging. If you can’t find one on your product, it was probably printed on the cardboard outer packaging you bought it in. You can likely find it on the manufacturer’s website.
The PAO symbol (source) looks like an open, circular container with a number and letter (M) in the center. “M” stands for months. The number symbolizes the number of months that particular product is good for after you open the product. Once that number of months is up, the product is considered to be expired.
Because makeup expiration dates depend on when you open your product, the exact date of expiration isn’t printed on any makeup product. It’s up to you to keep track of when you open products and when they will go bad.
Keep reading for a FREE Printable makeup product expiration TRACKER to help you remember when your products expire, or simply get your free downloads here!
Product Expiration Chart
Every type of makeup product – from liquid foundations to pressed powders to cream blushes – have different expiration dates.
Because there are so many types of makeup products, it would be impossible to remember all of their shelf-lives! If you want to remember a basic overview of when cosmetic products expire, consider the product’s consistency and applicator (if any)!
Cream and liquid products tend to have much shorter shelf-lives than powder products. The creamier consistency encourages bacteria to bread easier than their drier, powdery counterparts. Cream products should typically be replaced between 6 months and a year after opening, while powders can last for a year or two.
Related: How to Disinfect Makeup Tools
Products with applicators that directly touch your skin or eyes and are placed back into the product (e.g. mascara and liquid eyeliner) expire much quicker than products that are used with a clean brush at every application (e.g. pot of cream eyeliner). Putting the applicator with your skin’s bacteria on it back into the cosmetic product will cause bacteria to grow quicker. Also, these types of makeup products should NEVER be shared with another person, because it can cause eye infections.
Here’s a chart of the general expiration dates of many different makeup items!
Remember, if the PAO symbol on your particular product differs from this list, follow the product’s PAO symbol > this chart.
FREE Makeup Expiration Tracker
Do you have trouble remembering when you open your makeup products? Me too.
I’ve created this chart to keep track of when I open my new makeup products, and write down when they will expire so I remember to replace them!
It has space for all the main makeup products, plus some extras. Simply write down the date you open the product, and when you’ll need to replace it by following the PAO symbol or the chart above!
I’m going to keep this chart in my vanity so I can add and replace products as needed.
But I’m also going to be honest, I have way more than just ONE of all these types of makeup! As a makeup blogger, I try a lot of products, and want to keep track of all of them. So, I’ve created a blank version too.
Want to download these helpful documents?
Get your free downloads here!
I love using these reference charts and I hope you do too!
If you have any questions about these resources, feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Let me know how much you love your printables in the comments!