This tends to be a rather common thread running among those of us who wear makeup. While there are gazillions of types, brands, effects and prices of cosmetics available for an endless range of makeup applications today-oh, and with only a few exceptions, most of us can be at a cosmetics store or aisle within minutes of leaving our home, it might seem that keeping our makeup supply freshly stocked and current. There should be no excuses for anyone using makeup beyond its expiration date. Even though it can be difficult or impossible to locate any semblance of a “use by” date on most cosmetics, there’s no denying that the info is out there, easily attainable, and it’s there for a reason. So even when it continues to perform well, there are a lot of reasons why it’s best to ditch certain makeup products at indicated times and move on.

We Form Bonds With Our Makeup
While breaking up with a significant other person can involve every aspect of life and be emotionally draining, breaking up with a significant favorite makeup should be a lot easier–and if it’s not–well, there’s help out there for anyone experiencing life-shattering trauma when faced with the need to transfer a favorite mascara from a drawer to a wastebasket. In fact, if this sounds like you, stop reading this and call 911. If, however, you are like most of the rest of us, letting go of certain components of our makeup bag can be difficult. We do sometimes develop special affinities for particular colors, the ease by which some are applied or the longer lasting performance of some. The most difficult perhaps, occurs when a favorite makeup has been discontinued or changed.

No Sharing, and Know Lifespan
By now, everyone should absolutely know that sharing makeup is never a good idea, and this is especially important when it comes to eye makeup, so when you discover that someone has “borrowed” your makeup, toss it and shop for a replacement. There are far less obvious times and reasons to replace makeup, and all are just as important. The minute you expose your new makeup to the air, the “lifetime” of that makeup begins its countdown. While generally, most makeup will be OK to use for one to three years, you can always inquire directly with the manufacturer about the lifespan of their product, which will remove all doubt whatsoever.

How Makeup Can Go Bad
Factors that influence the lifespan of any makeup include the manner in which it is stored, and how often it’s used. On the extreme end of possibilities, makeup (usually when older,) can become contaminated. Bacteria, yeast and certain fungi can grow in any makeup, and although these are not prevalent problems due to preservatives added to modern cosmetics, they can occur. Obviously, if a product begins to look or feel different or if it develops an uncharacteristic or bad odor, toss it immediately. The only exception would be when you have purchased makeup and never opened it, and it has been stored in a stable environment with moderate temperature and humidity levels. that makeup will generally be OK to use at a later point, however sometimes, even these factors do not protect the integrity and safe use of a makeup.

What Can Happen
Infections of the eyes and skin are among the most commonly experienced problems from using or sharing makeup that should have been tossed. Others requesting to borrow makeup may have infections of the eye or skin that even they are not yet aware of, and these can all be very easily passed through sharing makeup among friends. If you have any reason to suspect that you have been exposed to infection of any kind from your makeup, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor, and if possible, take the makeup along with you to your appointment. This applies to primer, foundation, powder, lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, pencils and everything else you put on your face. And not only the cosmetics, but the various application tools you use, like sponges, brushes and such can all harbor and transmit infection. The length of time since someone last borrowed your mascara means nothing, when it comes to passing along infection to you. If anyone borrowed it, they rendered it unusable, so toss it and be healthy. And protect your makeup by seeing that it is stored properly in a stable, moderate environment for a long lifespan.