Lana, a regular reader of Viva Woman, left me a question asking if mineral makeup expire or go bad and I thought it’s a good question which warrants a blog post.
If you’re a user of mineral makeup, you should have noticed that most brands indicate that their mineral makeup have an indefinite shelf life because:
- they are made from inorganic ingredients that contain inert minerals
- the inorganic ingredients cannot support microbial growth
- they contain no moisture and bacteria cannot form and thrive
- they do not use preservatives, fillers or synthetic dyes.
So in theory, mineral makeup will last forever.
Noticed how all of them qualify with the phrase/words “in theory” or “theoretically”?
In practical terms however, it really depends on the ingredients in the makeup. I told Lana that mineral makeup that contain Zea Mays or corn starch which is vegetable-derived have a shelf life. This is also true if the mineral makeup contains liquid oils such as vegetable or nut base oils, liquid vitamins like vitamin E or plant extracts such as grapefruit seed extract. So please read the ingredient labels on your mineral makeup and find out from the company if you’re unsure.
Contamination can happen during application
However, personally, I would not want to use my mineral makeup indefinitely. Even if the ingredients maybe free from bacteria, remember your application brush can be contaminated. Which is why in addition to washing the brush frequently, you should try to avoid dipping used makeup brushes directly into your main container of mineral makeup.
Additionally, I found this useful information from CURO Minerals: “Unopened product lasts 2 years; and opened product lasts 18 months. Remember, traditional makeup supports the growth of bacteria and must be discarded after 6 months!” Sounds reasonable to me.
An article in CBN which discussed the expiration of beauty products indicated that “If it has a higher percentage of pigment, such as mineral makeup, then you have about a year.” This seems to me that mineral eye shadows may even have a shorter shelf life!
Of course it makes better sense to use up makeup quickly but I am still using a mineral makeup from more than a year ago without problems. There are no vegetable derived ingredients in this particular product and hence, I’m giving it about two years to throw out if I still haven’t used it all by then.