So you’ve run out of your favourite eyeliner, but you’ve got an important meeting to go to, so you’ve searched the depths of your makeup drawer to find an old, but once trusty, eyeliner. A bit crusty, you think…how old really is it? Does eyeliner expire?
Yes, eyeliner does expire. Often, once opened, eyeliners can last from 3 months up to 3 years. Unfortunately for the winged-liner queens out there, liquid eyeliners are more likely to go off faster than pencil ones. Why, and how do they go off? Keep reading to find out why expired eyeliner could be really bad for you.
Why Does Eyeliner Expire?
Liquid eyeliners contain liquid in them, if you didn’t already know. This liquid is very attractive to bacteria, who like to colonise within this room temperature and moist (sorry) new home. Bacteria also live on our eyelashes, which, unless you’re a wizard, come into contact with the eyeliner applicator. Now, if you innocently share your eyeliner with your friend, you now have whatever bacteria that was lingering on their face added to the mix. So, this is why it is recommended that eyeliner is thrown away after about 3 months of use.
Pencil eyeliners, on the other hand, have less of a desirable medium for bacteria to grow in. They have no liquid for bacteria to grow in (unless you’re doing something weird with your eyeliner pencil). Hence, you are able to get away with throwing it away after about 2-3 years. However, you still need to maintain it and sharpen your pencil often to get rid of the top layer of bacteria which may be sitting on the surface.
Do Eyeliner Pencils Expire?
As explained above, pencil liners are less susceptible to bacterial growth, however they do still expire.
Is It Bad To Use Expired Makeup?
Yes! Unfortunately for your pocket, it is bad to use expired makeup.
Bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus exist in liquid makeup products such as mascaras and eyeliners. They have the possibility of causing infections such as conjunctivitis and pink eye. Lovely.
In addition to this, companies usually test out their products to an extent and often know how long each active ingredient lasts. This means if you are using a 4 year old eyeliner, the ingredients may have gone off, may not be useful anymore and may even be harmful to your skin and eyes.
How Do You Know If Makeup Is Expired?
With regards to eyeliner, pencils can often show a white film on the top of the pencil, if you cannot sharpen it off, it’s probably expired. Liquid liners may smell funky, look a different colour, change texture or may have dried out.
As a rule of thumb, always, always, always check the product packaging, which will indicate how long after opening you should discontinue use. It will be shown as a little number inside of a small cosmetic container, like this:
This is known as the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol.
If you can’t remember when you first opened your eyeliner, I hate to break it to you but, it probably means you opened it a very long time ago. It is better to be safe than sorry; ditch it. Trust me, your eyes and your health are more important than looking like Ariana Grande for a day.
Say it with me! If in doubt, chuck it out!