We should be replacing our eye makeup every three months, according to a leading doctor.

The beauty experts at LOOKFANTASTIC, spoke with doctor and skincare expert Dr Deborah Lee on how often we should be replacing our makeup and why keeping your favourite makeup after its expiration date isn’t a good idea.

How often should we replace our makeup beauty items?

Makeup type

How often we should replace


3 months


6 months

Eye pencils

6 months

Lipsticks and lip gloss

6 months

Cream makeup eg foundation and blush

9 months

Powder makeup eg foundation or blusher

9-12 months
  • Cosmetics experts have a simple rule of thumb. If your makeup looks funny or smells funny – it’s probably too old and needs to be replaced.
  • Eye makeup is of major concern as mascara is particularly notorious for causing eye infections. You should hear a popping sound when you pull the mascara wand out of the canister. If that doesn’t happen, too much air has got into the chamber, and this means it may have become an unhealthy breeding ground for bacteria.
  • As we use our hands to apply cream makeup onto our skin, this then introduces bacteria into these products, which can be harmful to our skin and therefore should be changed every 9 months.
  • Lipsticks and lip glosses can also harbour infections and should be changed every 6 months, or more often if you have been ill and had crusty, dry lips, or had a cold sore. Never share these products with others.

How would you best store your make-up and beauty products?

It’s best to store your brushes upside down in a cup, so they are exposed to the fresh air, and not cramped in a hot sweaty makeup bag.
“Ideally, organise your makeup in a drawer, using dividers, away from heat and direct sunlight. It’s better not to keep your makeup in the bathroom, which is a hot humid environment. Some experts advocate keeping mascara and eye makeup in the fridge. Keeping skin creams in the fridge can be soothing, especially if you have a chronic skin condition” comments Dr Lee.
Expert tips and advice:

  • Old makeup isn’t going to apply well to your skin and won’t look as good on your skin as new makeup.

  • Try sticking a piece of masking tape on your beauty products with the date of purchase on it, so you always remember when you bought it and when it should be changed.

  • Replace your makeup regularly, it isn’t safe to keep makeup after the expiration date due to bacteria and other microbes that can grow inside it. Eye makeup is the most problematic as there is a way bacteria can enter your body, which can lead to problems like conjunctivitis.

We are all guilty of keeping makeup for longer than we should, whether it’s that gorgeous eyeshadow palette or that really expensive foundation we just can’t seem to throw away, but we really should be parting ways with our makeup more often.