Here’s when you should toss out your beauty prodcuts

How was everyone’s weekend?

As a self-proclaimed beauty product hoarder, I am always stashing away products without paying attention to the expiration dates.

However, this week I began my yearly beauty declutter task, so I can make room (dare I say) for all the fall beauty products, and discovered that I needed to pay attention to the expiration dates on all beauty products as they can compromise my skin.

Here are some easy to follow guidelines to help you decide what to stash and what to trash:


Mascara (regular or waterproof) and eyeliner: 3 to 6 months (always toss out dry mascara—never add water to extend its life)
Cream, liquid or stick foundations/concealers: 6 months to 1 year
Powder-based products (including blush, bronzer, etc.): 2 to 3 years
Lipstick, gloss and lip pencils: 2 to 3 years


Cleansers: 1 year
Toners: 6 months to 1 year
BHA or AHA exfoliants: 1 year
Facial or body moisturizers and serums: 6 months to 1 year
Lip balm: 1 year
Acne products should be thrown out after six months to avoid skin irritation (because that defeats the whole point of skin care, right?). Most products, if not all, should have a number followed by the letter “M” to tell you how long you can use the product for once it’s been opened.

Another trick is to look at the box for the PAO symbol (a number followed by an M and an open jar icon). The PAO symbol tells you how many months after opening a product, it should be thrown away. For example, a “12M” would mean you should throw the product out 12 months after you’ve opened it.

Sending sunny beauty vibes!  💋

Photo credit: FleaingFrance. com, Goldsalty

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  1. Kerry LifeandLoves

    Im usually pretty good with chucking out old make up, but funnily enough, I realised yesterday that I have about 10 open mascaras at the moment. I need to have a good ole clear out! These expiration dates are useful xx

  2. Joy

    Super interesting and useful, thanks for sharing!! xx I didn’t know I could keep my powders and lip products for more than a year, that’s cool!!

  3. FebruaryCircus

    This is so useful! Especially the skincare part comes in hand as I always am in doubt about these expiration dates. I always tend to base my opinion on how things smell haha but this is more accurate. Have a lovely week Ingrid xxx

  4. SimpleSerenity

    I’m the worst at actually throwing out makeup, I’m such a hoarder. I have some products that are 5 years old, but I never use them I just keep them because I like their packing :O. I’m the worst when it comes to limited edition makeup, I just can’t throw it away. xx

    1. IngridMadisonAve

      Lol, I was too until I read how bad it is to use. Also, New York apartments are small, so decluttering is the only way to live because there is not much space. 🤗💋

  5. Britney

    Thanks for this post! I was just thinking about how I might have to throw away some of my older skincare items. The problem is I HATE throwing stuff out before I’ve used it all because I feel like I’m throwing money away, but I don’t want my skin to get irritated either.

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