Beauty Purge: Why It’s Time To Dump Your Makeup Bag!

Ask the Anti-Ageing Expert: Top Beauty Buys
Jo Munro

The Savvy Shopaholic

Jan 29, 2024

I recently had a beauty purge.  Not a makeover for my face or for my wardrobe but a total beauty product purge.

In the process of spring cleaning, I started going through ‘that’ drawer.  You know, that drawer where the odd items in the bathroom get stuffed to stay out of sight.  When opening some of the products I hadn’t used for some time there was discolouration and mould. Yes mould! The horror!

It got me thinking about the skincare treatments regularly used near our mouth, eyes and face.  If a jar of cream can grow gross things from us dipping clean finger tips into the tub imagine what can happen with items used close to our face.

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Naturally, I knew there is a shelf life for products but I hadn’t really thought about the negative effects of out of date or rancid products.

Research time!  What are the recommended times to replace your makeup items and why?

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In a nutshell, bacteria can cause all sorts of issues with skin, eyes and your mouth. When textures of products change or they get an unusual odour it is easy to see that it is time to exit it.  Bacteria is not always visible. Bacteria build up on everything, especially cream and liquid products; the last thing we want to be doing is doing an immaculate double cleanse and then smearing rancid products over our precious skin.

Replace foundation & concealers every 12 months

If products are unopened the shelf life is usually 3 years.

If opened and being used;

Foundation and concealer: These products typically last up to 12 months. After that, they can become less effective, the pigments can change and start to harbour bacteria. If you notice changes in the texture or smell of your foundation or concealer, it’s time to replace them. 

Remember to regularly clean brushes, sponges and tools used for application.

Mascara and liquid eyeliner: These items have a shorter lifespan of around 3-6 months. Because they come into direct contact with your eyes, they are more prone to bacterial contamination. To prevent any eye infections or irritations, make sure to replace your mascara and eyeliner regularly. I also find that these items start to dry out after about 3 months.  Nothing more unpleasant than trying to apply clumping mascara.

Pencil-style eyeliners, gel eyeliners and lip pencils can be used for up to a year.  I usually wipe or sharpen these items after use to keep the tips clean.

Powder-based products: Blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow powders can last for 2-3 years if stored properly. However, if you notice any changes in colour or consistency, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get a new one. 

Managing the cleanliness of brushes also will impact the life of these products.

Consider replacing cream-based foundation from a compact or blushes every six months to a year.  Rotating clean application pads will also extend the life of the product and ensure hygienic contact with your face.

Lipstick and lip gloss: These products can last for up to 1-2 years. Pay attention to any changes in smell or texture, as this may indicate that it’s time to say goodbye and shop the sales to replace your favourite shade. Keeping lipsticks clean by wiping the top to reveal the underneath layer will help extend the life. I do this regularly after the experience of using an old lipstick and soon after getting a cold sore. Don’t chance it!

Sunscreen: Living in Australia, I consider sunscreen as part of my daily skin and makeup routine.

Like any other drug, sunscreen has a 3 year shelf life however sunscreen expires because the ingredients can “spoil” or separate. This may result in changes to its consistency, making the sunscreen less effective or worse, ineffective. Sunscreen can lose strength and become unstable over time. Particularly in the heat at the beach. Check for useby dates on your suncare products.

Remember, using expired makeup and skincare can lead to skin irritation, breakouts, and even infections. It’s important to regularly check the expiration dates of your products and replace them accordingly.

I took the opportunity during the sales to do a total refresh of my makeup bag and skincare too. As we are in peak sales season, check back for my Savvy Strategies on how to bag a bargain on some of the most premium brands.

Your skin will thank you!           


By Jo Munro

The Savvy Shopaholic

Jo Munro is best known as The Savvy Shopaholic with the tag line 'Shop More, Save More'. She is The Carousel's resident shopping expert and a regular TV presenter on Ch9's Today Show and A Current Affair. In Jo's book The Savvy Shopaholic, she shares over 20 years of savvy shopping expertise, business wisdom and channel management with those who want to turn their shopping skills into cash. Much loved for her luxe for less shopping tips and wide-brimming smile, she's always keen to share her passion for shopping and savvy tips to get the most out of your dollar.



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