When does makeup expire ?

makeup kit, too faced, nyx, benefit, mac, eos

Hello guys,

I am pretty sure that lots of you have doubts before buying a makeup product which hasn’t the expiration date marked on it. No one likes to buy a quite expensive product without knowing if that product is expired or not, if it is in good quality.

That’s why I decided to write some interesting facts about when makeup expire and what to do when products are not marked on the pack.

Many of you, when buying a product, take the batch code and introduce it on a cosmetics calculator to discover when it was manufactured.

Well, this is quite wrong and really uncertain, and I’m telling you why, because I’ve discovered this recently. As I work in cosmetics business and always have tons of new products in my hands, I have the opportunity to test and discover them.

I took a product, which I knew it was new, new launched on the market, and introduced the batch code on a expiration date calculator. It showed that the product was manufactured 3 years ago and it has expired… which was quite impossible. That was a bit uncertain for me, and after 3 days , I took another product, which was not even launched on the market or in stores. The calculator told me that the product was produced 1 year and 7 months ago , with another 30 months until expiration date. I think that product was still in the stage of project almost 2 years ago… so again, wasn’t possible.


What you find on the product package


Another way of finding out when makeup expire is to check out the PAO(period after opening) sign on the package. Almost all the makeup products, which don’t have the exactly ¬†expiration date on the package, have instead this PAO sign.

pao sign, valability, expire date

Depending on the products and it’s ingredients, it will be specified on this sign how much valability the product has, AFTER OPENING it. Some products will have from 3( for a mascara for example), to 24 months ( like powder eye shadows or lip liners).

When the expiration date is not marked, PAO sign is missing and the cosmetic calculator is not trust-worthy, what should you do?

The most important thing you need to know is that some products have on their ingredients an ANHYDROUS FORMULA. This means that the product does not contain any water and no preservatives in it( it is more common when we talk about skincare products, oils, creams, scrubs). In this case, the product will be good to use only 6 to 8 months after opening it.  The absence of water from the products will improve microorganisms development. To avoid this fact from happening , brands use preservatives to extend products expiration date.


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Hope you enjoy my article and find it helpful !


Alina Danil


  1. Hi! The only makeup i’ve been ever using , is mascara. But I never knew how long i can use it after opening it.


    • Hello,
      Usually, a mascara can be used for 3 months after opening it. If you don’t use it all this time (I’m pretty sure that this happened to you), it will get really sticky and dry.

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