How Often Should You Replace Your Mascara?

Knowing when your makeup needs to be discarded and replaced is super important. If you are guilty of hoarding your makeup because you don’t want to part ways with it, you may now be questioning whether makeup expires, and how often you should be replacing each item. 

Just like food, makeup products can expire, and continuing to use them once they have passed this date is not recommended.

Mascara is a staple product found in the beauty bags of many. If you are unsure as to how long your current mascara has been in your possession, we would advise you to throw it away as a precaution if you feel as though you have had it for quite some time. 

Most mascaras will need to be replaced every 3 months. Mascara actually has an earlier expiration date than other makeup products. If you are someone who wears mascara regularly, you may find that you use the majority of the product within this time anyway. Many mascaras contain natural ingredients that are likely to go off within a shorter time frame. 

As mascaras contain water they are more likely to become contaminated with bacteria. When applying mascara to your eyelashes, you are removing the wand from the tube, putting it near your skin, before dipping it back into the tube to apply more layers.

Furthermore, we have natural bacteria that builds up around our eyes and this bacteria is likely to transfer to the wand and then the tube. The more the mascara is used, the more bacteria it is likely to collect.

An old tube of mascara provides a feeding ground for bacteria and possible eye infections. Our eye health is extremely important so you must make sure that you replace your mascara within this time to avoid any unpleasant and potentially painful eye infections. 

Outdated mascaras will also become much less effective. If your mascara has exceeded its expiry date you will likely find that you need to put the wand in and out of the tube more frequently to collect some product.

Aside from this, you may also find that your old mascara smudges more than normal meaning that you cannot go for very long throughout the day without noticing smudged patches beneath your eyelashes. 

Some mascaras will have an expiration date printed on the packaging. However, this information will not be so clearly detailed on other mascaras. If you cannot see the expiry date on your product, if possible try and remember the date that you purchased it, so you will then have a clearer idea of when the 2 to 3 months have passed. 

To avoid any unpleasant reactions to mascara that has been in regular contact with your eyes and possibly collected a lot of bacteria, we would advise you to abide by this 2 to 3 month replacement period even if you do not use it daily.

Mascara that has been unused is expected to last for around 2 years. However, you may still wish to discard it before using it to be on the safe side.

You should also change your mascara if you have used it shortly after having an eye infection, as the bacteria from the infection may still be clinging to the mascara wand even if you no longer have the infection. 

How do I know when I need new mascara?

There are several signs that will indicate that you need a new mascara. A change in the color, texture, and smell will all be telling signs that your product is no longer suitable for use. If your mascara seems to be clumpy on the wand and your eyes, or flaky this is a sign that it is out of date.

Furthermore, if the consistency of your mascara is thicker than what it was when you first bought it, it is likely to have dried out. Mascara that has dried out is also likely to be much more difficult to apply to your eyelashes and you will also find yourself having to use more product than you originally would because it no longer seems to have the desired impact.

Remember that there is a risk of more air getting into the tube if you are regularly inserting the wand and then removing it to try and get more product. This will increase the transfer of germs into the tube and may cause the product to dry out even more.

Another sign that your mascara has gone off can be identified through a change in color. If your product is not as bold and vibrant as it once was, then now may be a good time to ditch your current mascara and invest in a new one. 

Smelling your mascara will also inform you on whether or not it has gone off and needs to be replaced. Normal mascara will typically smell similar to ink or paint.

However, once it has started to expire, it will develop an unpleasant and rather sour smell. If you have noticed a difference in the smell of your mascara then it is time to say goodbye to your current mascara and invest in a new one. 

If your eyes become irritable shortly after applying your mascara, it may be worth investing in a new product. It is likely that this irritation has been caused by the bacteria that has gathered inside the tube. 

Discarding a high-end mascara can be rather disappointing, however, there aren’t any ways of preserving the product to enhance its longevity. Because of this, we would advise you to ensure that you only open one product at a time.

If you have multiple mascaras open you are less likely to make your way through so much product so opening one at a time will reduce the amount of product that is wasted.

You will also be pleased to know that there are many affordable mascaras available that you can purchase to replace your current mascara.