Breakup with your Makeup


Yes, like food, your cosmetics can expire!  Just opening a product exposes it
to oxygen, which starts to break it down, but so does sweat, saliva, tears and
natural skin oils.

Many cosmetics products will display an expiration date on the label.  Many
cosmetics now have “Period After Opening” or PAO, image. The symbol consists of a graphic (resembling an open cosmetics pot) and a written number (usually an “M”).  The number next to the “M” is the number of  months your product should keep for after being opened (i.e. 36M = 36 months/3 years.).

But remember that PAO symbols, lifespans and even expiration dates are just
guidelines, and that products will last longer if you limit their exposure to air
and touching your lips, fingers, eyes, etc. These guidelines are especially
important when dealing with products made for the eye area, the more liquid
(water-based) a product is, and any product you stick your fingers into.

I know how hard it is to throw away barely used mascara, but it truly is worth
it.  Even if you manage to avoid an eye infection or skin irritation, the colour or texture change means it won’t look as good or blend as well. If you can’t seem to recall when you purchase your products, you can try writing a date in permanent ink pen (like the kind you label CDs with) on the jar, or making a
note on your calendar/planner when to replace it.  But, just like food, if it
smells bad, tastes bad or looks bad, it probably is!

PAO Symbol PAO Symbol

PAO Symbol on a Product, the 12 M means it is good for one year after opening.

PAO Symbol on a Product




4 Ways to keep makeup longer:

1.  Never Share!

2. Store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

3. If possible, don’t touch it with your fingers (try to get products in a
tube as opposed to a jar). Or at least clean wash your hands first.

4. Keep lids tightly closed.

Estimated Product Lifespans
Liquid Foundation…4 – 8 months
Cream Foundation…6 – 9 months
Concealer…6 – 12 months
Pressed Powders…18 – 24 months
Loose Powder…18 – 24 months
Shimmer Powder…12 – 18 months
Gel Blush…8 – 12 months
Lipstick…12 – 18 months
Lip Gloss…12 – 15 months
Mascara…3 – 6 months
Liquid Eyeliner…4 – 9 months
Pencil Eyeliner…9 – 15 months
Moisturizer…9 – 24 months
Blemish Treatment…6 – 12 months
Shampoos & Shower Gels… 24 months

Some clues your makeup may have already expired:
Powder – it looks dried out, is cracked, hardens or discoloured
Foundation – it starts to separate or the colour has changed
Mascara – it clumps, flakes or smells funny
Eyeliner – it liquefies or hardens, smells funny or breaks when sharpened
Lipstick – it starts to streak or droplets of oil surface
So make sure to keep an eye on the colour and consistency of your products. Use and store them correctly!

* Tip: Got new shoes or a handbag recently?  Toss the silica gel pack that came with it into your makeup bag.  It’ll help keep the air dry! Just make sure you keep it away from children and pets.

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