DMM Blog Team

How long is makeup really good for? Well, it depends...  

   "Welcome to the Make-Up Chronicles"


You are running late (always) and bent over your makeup clustered sink digging through your bag like the hidden land of Narnia. Finally, the mascara! Now you start pumping...a random thought crosses your mind, "How long is makeup good for?


Hey, Honey, it's a mascara wand, not a plunger. I'm drying out faster than a desert in Dubai.


Dramatic much.


Y’know what else? You set me on your dirty bathroom counter--


Who are you calling dirty?


--and you flush the toilet with the seat up!  Bacteria flyin' everywhere.


For a mascara that’s been with me a little over 3 months, you’re a little sassy.


And you’re a little past my expiration date.  Just a friendly reminder.


Past your expiration date? 


Finally, I got your attention.

How long is makeup good for after opening?

Listen to the Makeup products come alive in our video below! 


"Where your makeup speaks volumes"

So, how long does your makeup last after being opened?

Here's the science:

Depends on the makeup | Each makeup product is unique.

As much as we wish it was, makeup is not immortal. (pity)

Over time, cosmetics gradually trap bacteria the more they're used and the older they get. If you continue to use old makeup that has expired, you increase the chance of getting infections, styes, rashes, acne and even herpes. (Yikes!)

The key to avoiding this?By keeping track of your makeup's expiration. 

The second you rip open that packaging, break the seal, open the lid,  and use it for the first time, their chemical expiration clock starts ticking!

Thankfully, most makeup products have a Period After Opening symbol printed on their packaging. It'll look like an oval lidded container with a number and letter "M" to indicate how many months it lasts.  

Period after opening (PAO) refers to the amount of time a product will remain stable and safe for human use after it has first been opened. NOT the purchase date. (reference:

Here's an example:

How long is makeup good for

Some people hold on to makeup for years without realizing that it’s gone bad. 

Why?  | Because many people don’t even know that their makeup expires in the first place. 

It can be really hard to remember WHEN exactly you opened each makeup product. It’s not like they have makeup expiration labels or something…

Oh, wait. They do. 

Yep, you read that right! 

Date My Make-Up Expiration Labels. (great idea!)

You can check ‘em out here.

And since we saw what mascara went through earlier, here's a quick preview of our mascara expiration label:

Other than our makeup's expiration, what other signs can we look for that tell us our makeup is nearing its last days? 

  • Changes in our makeup's texture is the dead giveaway. 

If your makeup is getting crumbly, separated and smells, it's time to say "rest in peace" (or pieces... depending how bad it is...) Some dry out quicker.

How long is makeup good for

Here's your Safe Beauty takeaway:

  1. Your makeup's expiration clock starts ticking upon your first use, NOT the purchase date. 
  2. Keep track of the expiration dates with Date My Make-Up Expiration Labels.
  3. Smelly, crumbly makeup is expired makeup.
  4. Pumping your mascara wand too much increases the bacteria  count in the product.
  5. Lower the lid on your porcelain throne when finished!

Want an easier way to keep track of your makeup expirations? Check out our FREE makeup expiration chart.

That's it! 

Hey! DMM Blog Team here!

We had a lot of fun with this blog and we hope you liked it as much as we did writing it. 

Want more makeup and personal hygiene tips? 

Then follow us on Instagram! @DateMyMakeup

If you have any comments, questions or would like to share any of your makeup experiences, don’t forget to leave a comment below! We would LOVE to hear from you. 

And as always, we hope to see you in the next one!

Safe Beauty to you!

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