How to check make up and skin care expiry date

There are a couple of factors you need to consider when checking your make up expiry date.

  • General standard
  • Period after opening
  • Production date


General Standard 

First of all, as I’m sure you all know, there is the standard expiration date according to which type of product or category it falls into.

Mascara — 3 months.
Liquid Foundation and Concealer — 6 to 12 months.
Cream Blush and Eyeshadow — 6 to 12 months.
Powder Blush and Eyeshadow — 1 year.
Eyeliner and Lipliner Pencils — Up to 2 years.
Liquid Eyeliner — 6 months or less.
Lipstick — 1 year.
Moisturisers and Skin Care — 1 to 2 years.

The above suggestions is from The Best Health Mag.

However, the above recommendation is just a simple standard. Each product contains different ingredients therefore expires at a different time frame.


Period After Opening

On the back of the bottle, there is also an icon which displays in either ‘M’ or ‘Y’.

M stands for Months/ Y stands for Years.

The below icon means that the product should be used for 12 months after opening. This is the “period after opening” recommendation date.

expiry date


 Production Date using Batch number or lot code

Generally, manufacturers put the batch date or lot number on the product. This is a legal requirement.


But seeing the batch date or lot code is difficult for the everyday consumer to understand in date terms. This is when I discovered these useful websites listed below.

**NOTE – not all brands are held in the above website databases**


To be able to demonstrate all three of these strategies and to work out how I check my make up expiry date, let me show you some examples.

Example 1 – YSL Rouge pur couture – Vernis a levres – glossy stainFotorCreated DSC0179

ysl 1

ysl 2

  • Both site shows that the production date of this product is: Feb 2014. – the cosmetic calculator also provides a general shelf life and also how long the product is valid until. (25 months)
  • The period after opening: 12 months
  • General thoughts: Seeing the recommendation – I will use this product for maximum  15  to 18 months, due to its brand reliability.  Any longer than that, I would expect the consistency of the product to change.


Example 2 – Clarins Paris – fluide Hydratant Matifiant Peaux mixtes, hydra-matte lotion


Clarins 1

Clarins 2

  • both website shows production date: April 2013
  • Cosmetic calculator recommends the Shelf life: 48 months, with 27 months remaining
  • Checkfresh recommends the Shelf life: 5 years, and expiration date: April 2018
  • The period after opening: 18 months
  • General thoughts: Seeing the recommendation – I will use this product for maximum for another 18 to 24 months. Even though the websites recommend a longer shelf life, I will not risk it with a skin care product, as I will use this all over my face and on a regular basis. However, considering the size of this product, hopefully, I will use the remains before then!


Example 3: Lancome Paris – All over face palette, day to night look


lancome 1

lancome 2

  • both website shows production date: July 2014 (Cosmetic calculator with a shelf life if 30 months)
  • The period after opening: 24 months
  • Since I have yet to open and use this product, if I start using this product within the next 6 months, I will carry on using this for the next 24 months. However, If I wait longer to use it, I will shorten that time frame.


The reason why it is so important to toss away expired make up is due to the risk of infections. This article talks through some of these risks.

Tips on not wasting make up

  1. Check regularly your make up expiration date from the 3 stages above
  2. Think about what make up you have and what make up you need when shopping for make up
  3. If make up is discounted, is there a reason for this? Is it near it’s shelf life?
  4. When online shopping for make up. it is more difficult to tell the production date. Therefore try and purchase make up from store counters, and also ones that are in popular and busy shopping centres. Before you purchase your make up, you can quickly check online the production shelf life, and choose a later batch (just like picking and choosing milk cartons).

It might take more time checking cosmetic and skin care expiry date, but your skin will thank you for it. If you had a recent break out, it may be due to an expired product you are using.

Toss it out girls!!

Cindy Signiture


2 thoughts on “How to check make up and skin care expiry date

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