Take a look into your makeup pouch or your dressing table. How long have you been using that lipstick? When did you buy that kajal eyeliner? When was the last time you replace your face powder with a new one?

Only one in four women takes any notice of expiry date on makeup and toiletries products. But, just like food, cosmetics product can expire and become dangerous to use. Unfortunately sometimes we ignore this as we think that “well, this stuff still works perfectly.” No, it does not, especially not on your skin.

Each cosmetic product has its own expiry date. It is important to note that expiry date is different from P.A.O (Period after Opening). Try finding an “open jar” sign with a number followed by the letter M, where number indicates how many months the products can be safely used for after opening. For instance, 12M means that product can be used during twelve months after opening (before the expiration date).

Now, let’s see the P.A.O of each cosmetic product that we use daily and how risky it is to use them past their P.A.O.

Lipstick

A lipstick can last upwards of a year before it starts to dry out. However, because lipstick is made from wax, it captures more bacteria than lip gloss. If you continue using an expired lipstick, the bacteria will further cause chapped lips and allergies (redness and rash) around your lips.

Mascara

Even though mascara tube seems narrow and leaves no room for bacteria, it actually can be haven for germs. According to Dr Luftman, an advisor at brand Simple, when your mascara is contaminated, you stand a 50% to 60% chance of getting blepharitis or conjunctivitis. Thankfully, after three months, mascara dries out or runs out, so you can throw it away.

Eyeliner

This is one of the cosmetics that we always wear every day. While mascara and lipstick tend to be more prone to bacteria, eyeliner (pencil) can be used until you reach the bottom of it. When you’re sharpening the eyeliner, you’re actually taking off areas that might be infected by germs. However, gel, cream, or liquid liners should be replaced after three months. These guidelines are especially critical if you apply liner on the inside rim, which covers the mucosal membrane. You don’t want the eyeliner to get inside your eyes, don’t you?

Blush

A cream blusher has shorter P.O.A (6 months) than powdered blush which can last up to a year. Powder formulas contain zinc and titanium that actually prevent bacteria from going. For pressed powder blush, once you see oil marks streak across the top and the color smells, cracks, or changes; it’s time to stop using it.

Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is one of those products that if it gets tainted, you have to stop using it any longer. Normally, an eyeshadow should be replaced between four and six months. Eyeshadows that are used past their P.O.A can cause pink eye and severe allergic reactions.

It is important to regularly check your cosmetic collection and find if they have passed their P.O.A. Always wash your makeup brushes and applicators regularly, as germs also like to stick to them. Place your cosmetics products in a cool and well-lit area, and don’t share any products with anyone to prevent irritation and allergies.

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