Pumping Your Mascara Wand Into The Tube Can Lead To Early Expiration. Here's How

Have you ever been putting your makeup on and realized the consistency of your product is different, or it smells funky? It may even look like the formula is separating or changing color. These are telltale signs that it has expired. Not many people realize it, but makeup does have an expiration date. Each product is different, but none are safe to use on your face forever.


You don't want to continue using makeup after its expiration date because it puts you at risk of infection. Skin products will usually have the expiration printed on the packaging. While eye and lip makeup may have a number and an "M" written for how many months they last after you open them. Not all products have the day you should throw them away on the label, but you can estimate it. Ohio State University even recommends writing the date on the container, so you don't forget. Doing this is an excellent way to ensure your makeup is safe, but sometimes it can expire quicker than expected.

Bacteria and air bubbles

When applying mascara, you may feel tempted to pump the wand in the tube to get more product. However, this is one of the worst things you can do. 

Your makeup may not seem like it's full of bacteria, but pumping the wand like this fills the tube with germs that your lashes may have caught, per Renée Rouleau. "Touching the mucus membrane of the eye with the wand" can leave bacteria on your tool. Then when you put it back into the tube, it introduces those germs to the rest of the product that you'll apply again later. When you pump the wand, you add more air into the container so the present bacteria can multiply faster than if you simply slid it into the tube. 


Other than putting you at risk of an eye infection, doing this will also dry your product and make it clumpy (via Hala Ajam). Then you'll have to replace it sooner than expected.

Replace your mascara regularly

Luckily, there are other ways to get more product on the wand without pumping it into the tube. The best way to use mascara is to start by opening it and swiping the brush around the inside of the container. Doing this will pick up just as much product as pumping it does, Hala Ajam explains. 


Along with applying your mascara correctly, you need to know when to replace it. No one wants an eye infection, so start off by checking the label for any written date. Otherwise, it's best to dispose of your mascara every three months, even if there are no signs of it expiring. However, the chances are you will notice the mascara becoming dry and flaky around this time anyway, especially if you've been pumping. If you buy a new tube before finishing your old one, it will last about three years unopened (via Makeup Muddle).