Bacteria in your Makeup & Shelf Life chart! - the Fashion Spot
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alouisa's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Traveling
Gender: femme
Posts: 454
Bacteria in your Makeup & Shelf Life chart!
I watched an episode of the Tyra Banks show yesterday about Makeup... and they had a feature about germs & makeup. It was disturbing, to say the least.

Ekkk... bacteria found on the guests makeup!!

I am usually pretty good about throwing away mascara every 6 months even though they are never empty... but watching the show made me realise that there was a LOT more I could be doing to keep my makeup germ-free!



General Shelf Life of Makeup

Mascara: Mascara lasts 3-6 months and is the most prone of all makeup to harbor bacteria because the wand is constantly being dipped. A general rule is anything that is a liquid has a shorter life.
Concealer: Has a life of about 18 months due to emulsion (the ingredients will begin to separate). Also, remember youíre generally using concealer to cover blemishes, which can be more sensitive and prone to infection than other parts of your face.
Liquid Foundation: You should never use liquid foundation after more than one year. Always use a sponge, and not your germ-laden fingers! If the foundation separates or smells bad, throw it out.
Loose Powder: This item can last for years.
Eye Shadow: Lasts 12-18 months if it is a cream, 2 years if itís a powder.
Lip Pencil: Can last 3 years due to the wood and wax. Remember to sharpen and cover between uses.
Lipstick: Can hold up for 2-3 years, but if there is a color change or rancid smell, throw it out. (another report I read said only 1 year)
Lip gloss: Donít keep more than 18 months due to a different formulation chemical composition and the same dipping problem as mascara.

And... wash your brushes, brow combs, eyelashcurlers, etc. ONCE A WEEK with soap


Bugs in Beauty -

Study: Fecel Matter, Bacteria Found in Sample Makeup -

Time to go makeup shopping... i cleaned all my brushes, etc. last night!

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leave me with your Borneo
ragtag's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: chicago
Gender: femme
Posts: 746
i worry about this sometimes too, because i have a lot of makeup - so i don't go through it as quickly as someone who wears the same items every day. i just try to be conscious of smell and texture changes - those are usually a good indication of an item going bad - and, of course, washing brushes often.

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TerribleLie's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wichita, KS
Gender: femme
Posts: 70
I love Tyra's expression in that screen cap. Haha
My mother was always on me about throwing away old make up so it's become a habit. It's just hard to part with pretty eyeshadows. Everything else.. not so bad.

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Join Date: Aug 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 20
Ha-ha. I still have makeup from like five years ago. Awesome.

And the mascara I used today is at least a year old.

Whatever, man. I kind of feel that makeup expiration dates are like all expiration dates -- companies market them as shorter than they actually are so that you have to buy their products more often.

But who knows? Maybe I'm going blind from bacteria in my crusty old eye-makeup as we speak.

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rising star
iChelle's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Gender: femme
Posts: 143
^ go on w/yo bad self i'm all about saving a buck too...good luck to us...

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Arielrose's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Gender: femme
Posts: 88
I'd have to say you should really just use good ol' common sense with makeup. Obviously if it looks strange or smells, you shouldn't use it, but I'd be more worried about it's effect on your skin than a bacteria. I always avoid using makeup when I'm sick and wash/wipe everything off if I do...seriously though I don't think my makeup ever made me ill

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