How To Tell If Your Lipstick Is Expired

Many of us have an extensive makeup collection with our favorite CC creams, primers, and eye shadow palettes. However, wearing masks during the pandemic definitely cut down on how much makeup we were wearing every day. And even though they weren't being used, we held on to our precious beauty products until a time when it was safer to show more of our faces. No product received less attention than our lipsticks. Because it has been about two years since they were likely last used, it's more important than ever to go through our lipstick collection and see what may need to be tossed.No matter how expensive or gorgeous your lipstick is, if it's lived in your collection for many months, it's probably time to throw it out, according to MyGlamm.


For many people, remembering exactly when they purchased their makeup can be pretty difficult. If you don't remember when you purchased your last tube of lipstick, there are other ways to tell if it has expired.

Ways to tell your lipstick has expired

Before you even open your lipstick, you may be able to tell it's expired. If it appears as though there are moisture droplets on it, your lipstick is probably too old to use (via "The sweating observed in lipsticks is most likely oils from the formula slowly coming out," L'Oréal Associate Principal Chemist Roselin Rosario told Makeup. This is a sign that the lipstick composition has changed. 


Another sign it may be time to toss your lipstick is if it looks flaky or dry. This texture could make your lips just as flaky. If you notice it getting sticky and tacky, or a bit too oily, it's probably expired as well, according to NewsNCR. Your best bet in these cases is to replace it with a new stick.

Other signs your lipstick has expired may surprise you. Have you ever smelled a tube of lipstick? It's usually quite pleasant, but if you notice a sour or rancid smell, your stick has gone bad (via MyGlamm). In addition, a lipstick's color can reveal whether or not it is still fresh. If it starts to become faded or discolored, your lipstick is too old for use.

The dangers of expired makeup

Using expired lipstick may not seem like a big deal, but you could be setting yourself up for health problems if you do. Expired lipsticks carry bacteria and irritants that can cause everything from itching in and around the mouth to anemia and even breast tumors (via Times of India).


The lanolin – an oily substance derived from sheep's wool — found in lipsticks may also be part of the problem as it absorbs dust, bacteria, viruses, and more. When we eat or drink with lipstick on, we do swallow some of it unknowingly. According to Mount Sinai, lanolin can be dangerous if swallowed in large amounts, and lanolin poisoning can cause health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and skin rashes.

If you're looking for ways to extend the life of your favorite shade of lipstick, there are tips to consider. In order to keep your lipsticks fresh, consider keeping your makeup in a small refrigerator (via Good Housekeeping) because lipsticks expire faster when they are in a warm environment. The next time you go to apply makeup, consider how long you've had it, and notice if there have been any changes in consistency or color. If anything seems off, give yourself permission to go shopping.