How To Tell When Your Concealer Is Expired

As much as we would love it, makeup doesn't last forever. Like other products, our makeup is subject to expiration dates, even if we haven't finished the product. As harmless as it may seem to wear makeup products that have slightly expired, doing so can cause various issues to your skin and health. According to the University of Utah Health, mascaras pose a significant threat, as their packaging and consistency can make them a breeding ground for bacteria and infections. In a study conducted by the university on expired mascaras, researchers found that 80% of the tested mascaras contained staph bacteria. Putting on expired mascara close to a vulnerable era like your eyes is nearly a foolproof way of getting an infection.


Just like mascara, there are other makeup products you need to keep an eye on before putting it on again. While some products will show when they're expired, a few could seem fine even if they are past their expiration date. Knowing how to point out an expired product is essential to ensure you use only good makeup products. One popular product seldom spoken about is concealer. With this product placed all over your face, it's worth knowing when it's time to replace it. It's vital to know your concealer's expiration date, not only for the quality of your look but also for your skin's health.

Signs your concealer is expired

Before using that concealer you found in the back of your makeup drawer, there are a few signs you want to look out for to ensure it's still useable. The usual lifespan of concealers is around one year for liquid concealers. Liquid makeup products will also have a shorter lifespan than other makeup products due to their consistency and the fact that it's easier for bacteria to grow on liquid products. Powder concealers can last up to two years since dry textures are harder to attract bacteria. If your concealer contains natural or organic ingredients, the shelf life might be shorter. The majority of the time, products will have a small logo with the number of months until the expiration date. 


If you don't remember when you purchased your concealer, there are several signs you can look for on your product to see if it's still good. One of the most apparent signs will be a change of color. Products like liquid concealers will oxidize over time, and their colors will begin to change. If concealer appears more red or orange at first glance, it might be a sign it has gone past its expiration date. Expired liquid concealer will also change in consistency, as it will become thicker over time. Once your liquid concealer changes to a gel-like texture, it's time to grab a new concealer. 

Why you shouldn't use an expired concealer

Although we now know that expired makeup can harbor various bacteria and infections, there are plenty of reasons why you want to avoid using expired concealer. Besides a poor application, expired concealer can cause many skin issues instead of concealing them. Deborah Lee, a U.K.-based clinician, explains to Prevention, "Studies have shown significant growth of harmful microorganisms in cosmetic products—such as staphylococcus (a common bacteria that causes skin infections), and pseudomonas, which can cause skin rashes and abscess." These microorganisms can cause skin reactions like swelling, acne, redness, itchiness, and even blistering. Since concealer can also go under the eyes, you need to worry about the expired product getting into your eyes. If this happens, you can also expose yourself to various eye infections.


As Sarah Akram, a celebrity master esthetician, points out to Rose Inc, "If you notice the color has slightly changed or even the texture of the product, it's time to toss it. You can develop an eye infection, acne, or other skin irritations." These rules and risks apply to opened products as well as unopened products. Even if you still have a significant amount left, it's recommended that you toss expired products instead of risking infection.