Unlike food products, which are clearly labeled with expiration dates, beauty products can often expire without consumers realizing it. Skin care products, especially those with active ingredients like retinol, can become less effective the longer you have them. The makeup you’re putting on your face, such as mascara, could also age to a point where the pigments fade or the product causes irritation.

Eyeshadow and Eyeliner Require Regular Replacement

Eyeshadow degrades after a year, and the potential for bacterial growth increases, especially if you’ve been known to dip your fingers into your eyeshadow (a big no-no). As it starts to crumble and dry out, it will lose pigmentation and do less for your look than when it’s fresh.

Similarly, pencil eyeliners can develop unhealthy bacterial growth after as little as three months. Regular sharpening can help keep your pencil, but if it develops any kind of odor or begins to wear down, it’s time to toss it. Liquid eyeliners are only good for a few months, due to bacterial growth and drying. There’s not much you can do to preserve liquid liner, so it’s better to toss it when in doubt.

Foundation and Concealers Need Regular Replacement

Foundation can go bad in as little as six months. After a year, it’s time to replace it. Bacteria growth, as well as chemical separation, keep it from doing the job it once did. Concealer can last for up to a year, but because you’re likely applying it over areas that attract bacteria, such as blemishes, continuing to use it after a year could mean doing more harm than good for your skin.

The Rules for Blushes and Lipsticks

There are so many kinds of lip products, so it’s easiest to apply the same rule to them all. Lipsticks include oils that go rancid, which can smell bad or lead to uneven color application. Drying is also a warning sign that you need to hit the store.

Powder blushes can last up to two years before getting hard and chalky, while creams should be replaced after one year. Darkening or other color changes are early signs that you need a new compact.

Mascara Has the Shortest Shelf Life

Thanks to air and germ exposure, your mascara, even the designer ones, should be replaced every two to three months. Otherwise, drying and clumping are in your future, as well as the potential for an eye infection.

Eyelash extensions are a great alternative to buying new mascara every few months. Eyelash extensions will last almost as long as a tube of mascara, and they don’t require daily upkeep or mascara application to make your eyes pop. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about the color running!