What Happens When You Use Expired Powder Blush?

According to research conducted by Oxbridge Home Learning, 20% of makeup users continue to use makeup even after it has expired. That's one in five of us. However, other studies have suggested that the number could be even higher — as much as 98 percent. While these figures carry quite a stark difference, it is abundantly clear that a large number of us use makeup past its expiry date. But how many individuals aren't aware of the risks of using it? 


These risks apply to most products, especially cream and liquid products that often come into contact with fingers or dirty makeup brushes. Some of these products include lipsticks, liquid and cream foundations, cream blushes, mascara, liquid eyeliners, and even contour sticks. But what about powder products? 

Like the other makeup products mentioned, powder products are no exception and can expire too — even if it takes a little longer. So, what happens when you use an expired powder blush? Below, we'll take a look at how a powder blush will affect your skin if you continue to use it past its expiration date.

Powder blush is still generally safe to use on your skin

Powder products tend to last at least a couple of years, and even after that, they are still generally safe to use — although their quality may be affected. In contrast, other makeup products, such as mascara and lipstick, only last up to six months. Here, you can already see the dramatic difference between these types of products and a powder in terms of expiry dates. While this probably comes as a surprise, there is a good reason why powder products tend to be safer to use when compared to others (such as liquid foundation or mascara). As it turns out, "bacteria don't thrive in a dry environment" celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau explains to Byrdie. That's why many powder products last longer than those that contain hydrating ingredients, such as oil and water. 


With that in mind, powder blush should generally be safe to apply to your skin, even after it has expired. You should be able to use it without worrying about any dangerous bacteria buildup or any major adverse reactions. However, you should always clean your makeup brush before using a powder blush to keep your product in its best condition — particularly if you've been using it with other products. So, what else can you expect when using expired blush? 

It won't apply as well

While powder blush is safe to use after its expiry date, some caveats come with it. One significant change you may notice is that your powder blush may not transfer onto the skin the same, or uphold the same level of quality as it did in its former glory days, explains Dr. Tanzi to Bustle. This loss of quality may make it harder to achieve your desired makeup look and blend the product into your skin as you formerly did. You may also find it harder to get a sufficient amount of product onto your powder brush. If you've had your powder for a few years and are now finding it challenging to apply, you may benefit from throwing it away and replacing it.


However, if you want your powder blush to last as long as possible, then there is a unique technique that you can use to do so. Speaking to Byrdie, Glamsquad's director of makeup artistry, Kelli Bartlett recommends "[using] a butter knife to gently scrape the top layer. Oils from your face can travel back to the powder via your brush, leading to a hard film on the surface."

On the other hand, you should be more cautious when it comes to cream blush. There are more dangers in using an expired cream blush, as it contains hydrating ingredients that can encourage bacteria buildup.