Quality makeup is an investment. If you’ve treated yourself to the perfect tube of lipstick, it can be a bummer to throw it away until you’ve reached the very bottom of the tube. This can cause many of us to collect cosmetics over the years and never stop to ask, “How long is lipstick good for?” If you rarely (or maybe never) go through your makeup bag to throw things away, it may be time to change your ways.
While it may be hard to find makeup expiration dates, cosmetics do expire. It’s in your best interest to adhere to the expiry dates. Read through these guidelines for how long to keep lipstick, and set yourself up for a fresh start this year.
Why Does Lipstick Expire?
Like most cosmetic products, lipstick can trap bacteria. Skin irritation, redness, and even rashes can break out if you use expired lipstick.1
Many creamy formula lipsticks contain preservatives, vitamins, and essential oils to help keep bacteria at bay. However, these protective ingredients naturally start to break down after 12-18 months.2 When the components of lipstick break down, the product may start to separate and change texture. This can happen even with unopened lipstick tubes.3
What Is The Typical Shelf Life Of Lipstick?
How long is lipstick good for? As a rule of thumb, lipstick stays fresh for 12-18 months. If it is kept clean and cold, some beauty experts say lipstick can last for up to 2 years. Two years is the maximum, even if you’ve only swiped on the shade a few times.
If you’re keeping track of how long to keep lipstick, start counting on the day you open the product, rather than the day you buy it.4,5
Where Can I Find An Expiration Date For My Lipstick?
While it isn’t obvious, many makeup products do actually have an expiration date printed on them. To find it, pick up your liquid lipstick, traditional lipstick, or any lip product and look for a small, open jar symbol on the label. This symbol should have a number of months printed on or near it.6
If you can’t find this symbol on your lipstick formula, it may have been on the packaging that came with it. Simply use the 12-18 months rule as a guide for when you should throw it out.
How To Know If Lipstick Has Gone Bad
If you suspect that your lipstick has gone bad before two years have passed, you’ll want to follow that feeling rather than a set amount of time. Here are a few indicators that your lipstick has gone bad:
- Changes in color shades
- Changes in texture
- Changes in smell
- Visible mold on the product
- It has been exposed to extreme heat7,8
How To Make Lipstick Last Longer
If you can’t stand the thought of throwing away your favorite lip products earlier than you need to, consider these tips:
- Wipe your lipstick down with a damp washcloth after each use.
- Spray it with rubbing alcohol to sanitize.
- Store your lipstick in the refrigerator.
- Keep your lipstick cool with an ice pack or cooler if you’re on the go.
- Don’t apply lipstick if you’re sick.
- Wait until you’re finished eating to apply lipstick or lip gloss.9,10
Old Lipstick, Fresh Start
Now that you know how long to keep lipstick, it can be kind of liberating, right? For many, knowing that makeup has a relatively short shelf life can serve as inspiration to experiment and wear fun colors proudly. Hey, that hot new lip color won’t last forever. Why not seize the moment and wear that perfect shade while you can?
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