Does Makeup Remover Go Bad?

bottles of La Roche-Posay makeup remover and other skin care products

Does makeup remover go bad?

Yes it does! Just like any skincare product, makeup removers will expire. Makeup is a beautiful thing, but wearing it all day and night can be detrimental to your skin.

Even washing your face with plain soap won’t dissolve the toughest makeup and dirt, and this is where a makeup remover comes in handy!

Makeup remover can be in the form of prepackaged wipes, oils, foam, micellar water, and/or serums, and they all serve the same purpose—acting as the first defense against dirt, oil, and makeup on the face.

However, they do have expiration dates and will eventually go bad within one to two years after opening. Using expired makeup remover is not only inefficient at removing makeup, but can actually cause harm to your health!

Does Makeup Remover Expire?

Yes, makeup removers will expire and go bad. Even natural makeup removers, like coconut oil can go rancid. Makeup removers with artificial chemicals can deteriorate and lose their potency. Most makeup removers have expiration dates on the packaging that indicate when they expire.

On the packaging, there usually is a symbol representing an opened jar with a letter followed by a M, which represents the number of months the makeup remover will be effective before it expires. For example, if you see 24M, that means the makeup remover is good for 24 months (two years) after opening.

Do Makeup Remover Wipes Expire?

Makeup remover wipes, especially ones that are antibacterial like wet wipes, can expire just like any other makeup remover product, but they actually last longer and therefore, some makeup remover wipes generally do not have a printed expiration date.

Sometimes it is obvious when the wipes are no longer working when they become dry, which means the product has evaporated and dried out and will no longer work to remove makeup and dirt off your face.

How Long Does Makeup Remover Last Once Opened?

Makeup removers generally last a year once opened, but it is important to take note of the type of makeup remover because its expiration dates may vary.

Micellar water, which contains water as the first ingredient, can harvest bacteria and break down when exposed to air, so six months is a safe targeted expiration date. Cleansing makeup removers in the form of soaps, foams, and liquids can last up to a year.

Powders and wipes usually last a little longer than liquids. A helpful tip is to use a sharpie and write the date you opened the makeup remover on the packaging so you can gauge when the product will expire.

For example, if you opened a new makeup remover in January and the packaging indicates that it expires in six months, then you know to throw it out by the end of June if you have not used up the entire product by then.

How Long Does Makeup Remover Last Unopened?

Typically, makeup removers have a long lasting shelf life and can last two to three years if properly sealed and unopened. If your beauty store has a sale, feel free to stock up on makeup remover in order to save money, and store the unopened products in a dry cool place.

Once you use up an existing makeup remover, you can open a new one. It is recommended to use one type of makeup remover at a time to ensure that all of the product is used up before the expiration date.

Having several bottles of makeup remover liquid or makeup wipes opened at one time can be a waste of money! Most beauty stores have samples so you can try a particular makeup remover to see if you like it before committing to the full product.

If you do happen to buy a makeup remover and are not happy with it, most beauty stores also have good return policies so you can exchange for a makeup remover that you actually like and that works best for your skin. You can consistently use your makeup remover in its entirety before expiration!

How Can I Tell if My Makeup Remover Has Expired?

If you are regularly using the makeup remover, then you won’t have to worry about it going bad since you will most likely use all of the product before it comes close to expiration.

If you use the makeup remover sparingly and notice a year or longer has gone by after opening, you may want to consider throwing it out, especially if you notice a change in smell, color, or texture of your makeup remover.

Most makeup remover and skin cleansers shelf life is within one to two years, so when in doubt, toss your opened makeup remover after two.

Can I Use Expired Makeup Remover?

It is important to abide by the expiration date, even if you think the makeup remover is still good. For example, you would not want to drink a gallon of milk a month after the carton says it expires, right?

Even if the milk might not look or taste sour, it is in the process of becoming bad, which could make you sick. The same concept appies with makeup removers.

You want to make sure what you put on your skin has fresh ingredients, and by following the recommended expiration date, you can ensure your makeup remover has not gone sour!

When Do I Throw Away Makeup Remover?

Although some products are not harmful after the expiration date, the active ingredients do become less effective.

Makeup removers can even expire before expiration dates if the product has not been properly stored.

You should throw your makeup remover away when:

  1. The makeup remover has expired based on the expiration date printed on the packaging;
  2. After a certain period of time after opening the makeup remover;
  3. When you notice a foul odor or discoloring of the makeup remover,
  4. And/or the makeup remover no longer properly removes makeup and grime off your face.

Makeup Remover Shelf Life: Final Thoughts

Your skin is a living organ, and investing in good skin care and hygiene is important to preserve it. To prevent makeup removers from expiring prematurely, make sure to always tighten lids, close packaging, and store products in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

Using expired makeup remover can cause irritation to your skin, which can lead to bad reactions and/or acne. If you have had your makeup remover for a while and can’t remember when you opened it, bought it, or there is no expiration date on the packaging, then you should throw it away. Better to be safe than sorry and treat you and your skin as an investment!

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By Elizabeth Heintzmann

Elizabeth Heintzmann is a freelancer with E.J.H. Enterprises, LLC. She enjoys writing on various topics, including beauty and skincare for websites and blogs.