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The Toss-It Timetable

3 to 4 Months

Mascaras and Liquid Eyeliners
These dark, moist tubes breed bacteria. (Never keep more than a couple in rotation; you'll forget when you opened them.)

6 Months

Sunscreen, Retinoids, and Acne Products
Sunscreens and prescription products must carry an expiration date. But whatever the date, once opened, use the product within six months. The ingredients can degrade.

1 Year

Liquid Makeup and Cream Shadows
They start to get dried out or goopy, and the color may change.

1 to 2 Years

If they're in a tub or jar, they'll become more quickly contaminated (because they're exposed to air and your fingers), so toss them within a year. Moisturizers in a tube or pump can last two years.

2 years

Shampoos, Conditioners, and Gels
The oils and water in the formulas may start to separate. You know they're past their prime when their texture, color, or scent changes.

2 years

Loose and Pressed Powders
Bacteria grow more slowly in powder products because they contain very little water.

Pencil Lip Liners and Eyeliners
Sharpen them after every few uses to keep them clean

Lipsticks and Glosses
Toss them sooner if they start to smell "off" or feel waxy.