When to clean out your makeup bag

Find out which products breed the most bacteria and tips on how to keep your makeup from spoiling.


Unlike a litre of milk or a loaf of bread, our make up products aren’t stamped with an expiration date. But that doesn’t mean that these products don’t spoil. And while they may not leave you with a tummy ache, they most certainly can be harmful. That’s especially true for any sort of eye make-up.

Mascara has the potential to be the most dangerous, as bacteria can breed in the tube and is easily transferred back to your eye. If you experience any irritation, itchiness or redness, be sure to toss your mascara right away. Otherwise the product should be replaced every three months to be on the safe side.

Although most beauty products that are powder have a pretty solid shelf life, (at least a year), eye shadow is a little different. Again, because it is coming in repeated contact with your mucous membrane, it is advisable to replace every three to four months. And the same goes for your eye pencil, especially if it’s a liquid liner.

In general, all makeup should be stored at room temperature to keep from premature spoiling — that means somewhere other than the bathroom where a hot shower can really steam things up. If you begin to see any discolouration or can smell a change in the product, that’s a definite sign that’s something’s gone bad.

Now if it’s seems like you’ve suddenly thrown out a lot of your makeup, next time you shop, try buying a smaller sized shadow or something that’s individually packaged. That way you’re more likely to use up the whole product by the end of three to four months and you won’t feel so wasteful.

Besides, it’s the perfect excuse to try something new at the turn of every season.