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Does Eyeshadow Expire?

Are you one of those people who, like me, holds on to their beauty products for years after purchasing them? If so, it’s important to know if the products have expiration dates.

When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, does eyeshadow expire? I’m going to let you know if eyeshadow does expire, and how you keep your eyeshadows healthy and safe for as long as possible.

Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about the expiration process with eye makeup…

Does Eyeshadow Expire?

Does Eyeshadow Expire?

If you’re a makeup lover, you probably have a collection of eyeshadows and eyeshadow palettes in your vanity.

But did you know that eyeshadows also have an expiration date? Just like any other makeup product, eyeshadows also expire and can have a negative impact on your skin.

Eyeshadows come in different forms, such as powdered, cream, or oil-based. Powder eyeshadow has a longer shelf life than cream eyeshadows, which can dry out or separate over time. Oils in eyeshadows can also go rancid, leading to contamination and changes in texture.

Most eyeshadows have a shelf life of 1–2 years, but this can vary depending on the brand and ingredients used. Cream products like cream eyeshadows, tend to expire a lot quicker.

It’s important to check the expiration date on the packaging and discard any expired makeup. Using expired makeup can cause skin irritation, breakouts, and infections around the eye area, so always check the condition of your makeup items, before you start to use them each day.

To ensure the longevity of your eyeshadows, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep the packaging tightly closed to prevent contamination and exposure to air.

Why Does Eyeshadow Expire?

Have you ever wondered why eyeshadow has an expiration date? It’s not just a marketing ploy to get you to buy more makeup.

There are several reasons why eyeshadow can expire, and it’s important to know what those reasons are so that you can keep your eyes healthy and avoid any potential problems.


One of the main reasons why eyeshadow expires is because of bacteria. Every time you use your eyeshadow, you introduce bacteria into the product. Over time, those bacteria can multiply and cause contamination.

This can lead to eye infections, irritation, and other health problems. It’s important to replace your eyeshadow regularly to avoid these issues, and throw away your expired cosmetics and makeup tools.

Shelf Life

Eyeshadow, like all makeup products, has a shelf life. This is the amount of time that the product is safe to use before it starts to break down and lose its effectiveness.

The shelf life of eyeshadow can vary depending on the brand and the ingredients used. Generally, eyeshadow has a shelf life of 1–2 years.


Another reason why eyeshadow can expire is because of contamination. This can happen if you use dirty brushes or applicators to apply your eyeshadow, or if you touch the product with your fingers.

This can introduce bacteria into the product, which can cause it to spoil more quickly, and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

It’s important to always use clean brushes and applicators when applying eyeshadow, and to avoid touching the product with your fingers.


Eyeshadow can also expire because of separation. This is when the ingredients in the product start to separate and the product becomes less effective, and expire quicker.

This can happen if the product is stored in a warm or humid environment, or if it’s exposed to air for too long.

To avoid separation, it’s important to store your eyeshadow in a cool, dry place, and to keep the lid tightly closed when not in use, and check the labels on makeup products, so you know how long each product should last before you need to throw them away.

When Do Eyeshadow Palettes Expire?

When Do Eyeshadow Palettes Expire?

Eyeshadow palettes have a shelf life and depending on the type of makeup they contain, their expiration date can be as short as six months and up to two years.

In general, single eyeshadows tend to be more long-lasting than eyeshadow palettes because they don’t contain creams or oils which can become more easily contaminated over time.

The key is to ensure that you are regularly cleaning your makeup brushes in between uses, store them properly, and not share any of your makeup products with others. Keeping these practices in mind can help prolong the life of all your cosmetics. 

Generally speaking, if an eyeshadow palette has been recently opened it should last for about 18 months before it starts to expire, and you need to throw away your expired products.

If you’ve had the same palette for quite some time and haven’t given your brush much love lately, then it would be wise to check its expiry date before using it again – there’s no harm in checking.

Some signs that a product could have expired include discoloration, an unpleasant even pungent smell (which usually means bacteria has started growing), or crumbling powder when touched.

How to Check if Eyeshadow is Expired

Eyeshadows are a staple in every makeup kit, but do you know when it’s time to toss them out? Expired makeup can cause irritation, infections, and even damage to your skin. Here’s how to check if your eyeshadow is expired:

Check the Expiration Date

First, check the expiration date on the packaging. Most powder eyeshadows have a shelf life of 2–3 years, but this can vary depending on the brand and formula. If the expiration date has passed, it’s time to throw it out.

Changes in Texture

It will depend on the type of eyeshadow, but expired eyeshadows can become dry, crumbly, or even moldy. If you notice any changes in texture or smell, it’s time to say goodbye, as it’s likely the product has gone bad.

Powdered eyeshadows can also lose their pigmentation and become chalky over time.

Cream Eyeshadows

Cream eyeshadows have a shorter shelf life than powdered ones. They can dry out quickly and even harbor bacteria, so it’s important to check them regularly. If you notice any changes in texture or smell, it’s time to toss them out.

Powder Eyeshadows

Powder eyeshadows can last longer than cream ones, but they’re not immune to expiration. If you notice any changes in texture, pigmentation, or smell, it’s time to say goodbye.

What Happens if You Use Expired Eyeshadow?

How to Store Eyeshadow

Proper storage of eyeshadow is essential to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Most makeup products contain preservatives, to make them last longer unopened, like liquid eyeliner, mascara, lipsticks and blushers.

Here are some tips to help you store your eyeshadow correctly:

  • Keep your favorite eyeshadow away from direct sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can cause the colors to fade and the texture to become dry and crumbly. Store your eyeshadow in a cool, dry place away from windows or any other sources of direct sunlight.
  • Handle your eyeshadow with care: Eyeshadow is delicate and can easily break or crumble if handled roughly. To prevent this, handle your eyeshadow gently and avoid dropping it.
  • Store powdered eyeshadow in a cool, dry place: Powdered eyeshadow should be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent it from becoming too dry or clumpy. A makeup bag or drawer is a good option.
  • Store cream eyeshadow in a cool, dry place: Cream eyeshadow should also be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent it from melting or drying out. A makeup bag or drawer is a good option.
  • Keep the lid tightly closed: To prevent air and moisture from getting into your eyeshadow, always make sure the lid is tightly closed when not in use. You don’t want to risk bacterial growth.

What Happens if You Use Expired Eyeshadow?

Using expired eyeshadow or old makeup in general, can lead to a variety of issues, ranging from minor irritation to serious eye infections. Here are some of the potential consequences of using expired eyeshadow:

  • Irritation: Expired eyeshadow can cause mild irritation, such as redness, itching, and stinging. This is because the ingredients in the eyeshadow may break down over time, making them more likely to cause a reaction.
  • Infection: Using expired eyeshadow can also increase your risk of developing an eye infection. This is because bacteria can grow in the eyeshadow and transfer to your eyes, causing an infection.
  • Changes in texture: Expired eyeshadow may also change in texture, becoming dry, clumpy, or greasy. This can make it difficult to apply and result in a less-than-flattering look.
  • Breakouts: If you use expired eyeshadow, you may also be more prone to breakouts around your eyes. This is because the bacteria in the eyeshadow can clog your pores and lead to acne.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to pay attention to the shelf life of your eyeshadow.

Most eyeshadows have a shelf life of around 2–3 years, but this can vary depending on the brand and formulation.

If your eyeshadow has expired or looks and smells different from when you first opened it, it’s best to toss it and invest in a new one.

Will Unused Eyeshadow Makeup Expire?

Will Unused Eyeshadow Makeup Expire?

Yes, unused eyeshadow makeup can expire. The expiration date depends on the type of eyeshadow and packaging involved.

For instance, cream eyeshadows are more likely to expire sooner than powder eyeshadows, as creams contain moisturizing ingredients that can become unstable and breed bacteria over time.

Powder shadows may last up to three years if stored properly and unopened, while cream shadows usually won’t last longer than one year before they should be tossed out.

Pressed-powder shadows have a much longer shelf life than loose-powder ones due to their higher content of preservatives which help them stay fresh for longer periods of time.

Eyeshadows sold in refillable pans or compacts generally have a shorter lifespan when compared to those that come in tubes because the airtight compacts don’t protect against oxidation, which causes pigments to fade faster.

Lastly, if the product has an odd smell or appearance, it is probably time to replace it as these can both be signs of contamination or spoilage caused by bacteria growth from expired or improperly stored products.



So if you’re wondering if eyeshadow does expire, then the answer is yes. Eyeshadows have an expiration date of 1–2 years depending on the brand and formulation, and they can become contaminated with bacteria over time.

To ensure the longevity of your eyeshadows, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and keep the lid tightly closed when not in use.

Make sure to check for any changes in texture or smell that could indicate that it’s time to say goodbye to your expired eyeshadow palette.

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