How To Tell If Your Lip Gloss Is Expired

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Getting new beauty products is always a fun treat, but are you using them up as quickly as you should be? When cleaning your vanity space, you likely run into products, such as a lip gloss, that you haven't used in a while. At this point, you're probably wondering if these old products are even safe to use. Depending on how and where you store your lip gloss, it is expected to last around a year. However, that isn't always the case, as the liquid consistency of gloss means it may sometimes go bad much quicker than other lip products (via


If you are unsure about a long-forgotten lip gloss, begin by giving it a quick sniff. This is an easy way to tell if the product has expired. When you first got the lip gloss, it probably had a sweet scent like flowers or something candy-like. If this smell is no longer there or it smells foul, that's a telltale sign that it is time to toss it out. As makeup artist Ellen Malone explains on Quora, lip products like lip gloss and lipstick need to be kept extremely hygienic. But smell is just one of the factors that can determine whether or not a gloss is still good to use. Here are some other indicators.

Lack of smooth texture

Gloss should glide onto your lips pretty easily because of its smooth, slick texture. While there are a variety of lip glosses that may offer different consistencies, they generally tend to be thicker than lipsticks. And if there is one defining aspect of lip gloss, it is the polished, silky finish it offers. Its gooey, thick texture is what gives it shine, and should be a consistent feature as you use any gloss. When this texture is no longer detectable, this could indicate that the lip gloss has expired.


When lip gloss has gone bad, its texture may go from smooth to sticky, watery, or extra-thick and hardened (via Kaja Beauty). During application, you might also notice that the gloss is dripping, dragging, or becoming more difficult to put on because of these texture changes, which will make it harder for the product to glide the way it normally should. When this happens, it is best to get rid of the lip gloss rather than trying to fix it by adding more water into the tube. Spiking makeup products with water can add more bacteria to the mix, which is the last thing you want (via The Ohio State University).

Change in color or appearance

The main characteristic of lip gloss is its appearance. It is meant to look shiny and, well, glossy. They are also becoming available in a variety of tints and colors. While the hue of lip gloss is not as pigmented as lipstick, it appears in a subtle way. And in its tube, the gloss' color should be a little more noticeable, so give your product a good look before slathering it on.


Much like many other lip products, changes in your lip gloss' color or appearance may be another indicator that it has expired. The color may have gone darker or the gloss may look foggy. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., F.A.A.D., tells Dermstore that this usually happens to products like lipstick as they get exposed to bacteria, oxygen, and oils over time. Worse, bacteria in makeup can also impact also your health (via Forbes).

According to Dr. Shainhouse, if you have had your lip gloss or lipstick for a long time and have used it frequently, you'll want to toss it out for a new one every 6 to 12 months. Remember, it's better safe than sorry. So it's always a good idea to err on the side of caution when you start suspecting that your lip gloss or other lip products may have expired.