When do your mineral makeup expire?

Mineral Makeup

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.


  1. Dorphine says:

    I fully agree. About 1.5-2 yrs is about how long I’ll keep using the same MMU. Provided I don’t dip my brush in there.

    Dorphine: Actually, to think about it, I always dip my brush on the powder before I tap on the cover. :p I need to change this bad habit!

  2. hamsandwich says:

    heliocare gel vs avene very high emulsion
    which is better?

    hamsandwich: Heliocare gel has both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide plus octocrylene so the protection appears to be good. Avene’s contain Tinosorb if I got the right product and my understanding is this ingredient offers superior protection too. I guess your deciding factor would then be the texture and I can’t comment much here cos I don’t have an idea how they both feel.

  3. Lana says:


    Yeah, I emailed Everyday Minerals and they said that it should last 2+ years but encourages to throw it out if there is a lot of contact (brush dipping). And in their FAQ they had stressed the freshness of their mineral makeup and how they make small batches. Oh, another thing: don’t store it in a humid area, the stuff clumps up.

    Lana: So two years is about it. Great. I think I should be able to finish up mine by then.

  4. Lana says:

    Have you tried Sekkisei Kose Mask (They call it white but it’s actually black)? Complete waste of money?

    Lana: Yes, I’ve tried it and reviewed it here: https://www.vivawoman.net/2007/04/09/kose-seikisho-mask-white/ It’s not a complete waste of money but in hindsight, I think it’s not good to use peel off mask too frequently like what I wrote about those nose strips. If you have sensitive skin, not advisable to use this. But otherwise, should be okay to use once a week.

  5. Cyndi says:

    That’s why i only get myself those sample sizes or share a big tube of MMU with my friends because I don’t make up very often. Even though they have mentioned that it would not expire, I just dont feel secure using something that has been stored for a long time

    Cyndi: I know what you mean. I have the same problem myself. And it doesn’t help the MMU companies keep springing up! ?

  6. Cyndi says:

    When I say share means we divide it into a few individual tubes! Not all of using suing the MMU from one tube LOL =P

    Cyndi: Got it! ?

  7. Angie says:

    I just purchased a Jane Iredale Pure Pressed foundation and an Amazing Base foundation and they both have dates on the bottom which read: for the pressed powder 150607-17 and the Amazing Base says 022007 on the bottom. The Amazing Base is factory sealed with a plastic covering over the ‘holes’ in the lid, and the pressed powder is in a compact covered with a plastic circle and a powder puff. Both boxes have a small ‘open lidded’ jar on the box with 24M written inside it. It is now August 2009, are these products still good, and does the jar with 24M mean that it’s good for that length of time once I start using it? Sorry to sound such a dummy, but I don’t really know what all this means. Thank you

  8. sesame says:

    Yes, typically it’s good for 24 months from the start of using the product.

  9. Jane Iredale says:

    Ya, it looks like 24 months is standers. Also depends on the environment or place you live. If you live on the ocean there is more salt in the air. This may have some effect. Also if you live in a warm area compared to a clod area, this may also have an impact. If it looks off or smells off just through it away.

  10. Kayla Mullen says:

    I have some Jane Iredale make up here that has the code 150909-20BN is this the expiration code? and if so, how does that read? Please help!!

  11. Charlotte says:

    I fully agree. About 1.5-2 yrs is about how long I’ll keep using the same MMU. Provided I don’t dip my brush in there

  12. Miami sammy says:

    Expiry dates are bollocks. Use your common sense, if it smells or looks funny, time to go, if it gives you a rash, same deal.
    I have had nail varnish for donkeys, still fine .
    My current Mac foundation I have had for 4 years and found it the other day and it’s still absolutely fine.
    Mascara, whenever it gets dry and flakes a lot on your face.(which seems to always be less than 6-9 months anyway)
    Eyeshades – donkeys. You can rub/spray rubbing alcohol on there if you are concerned. Hey presto – its all squeaky clean again.

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