Keep or pitch? when to throw away your hair and beauty products

We all have that friend or sister, the one that has a bathroom vanity busting at the seams with body sprays, makeup, and old eye shadow pallets that date back to the mid-’90s!

Expiration Dates….When did this all begin? In 1973 it began as a “sell-by date” on some products. Now when you look at almost every product on the market today, including bottled water. Every and all items have an expiration date.  These dates have become the new “law” when to toss and when it’s time to buy new.

As a child growing up, my family had many items in the refrigerator and cabinets that would have long outlived today’s expiration date laws. It’s almost hard to believe that those items would have such a short shelf life with all the chemicals and preservatives in our food and products today. Common sense is always constructive when deciding which items have outlived their time on the planet.

Here is a list of standard guidelines on when to keep and when to toss hair, makeup, and beauty products.


  • Concealer – 1 year
  • Eye Liner Pencil – 2 years
  • Lip Balm – 1-5 years
  • Cream Blush – 1 year
  • Eyeshadow – 1 year
  • Lip Gloss – 1 year
  • Eye Liner – 3 months
  • Foundation – 1 year
  • Lip Stick – 2 years
  • Powder Blush – 2 years
  • Nail Polish – 1 year
  • Mascara – 3 Months

Shampoo and Conditioner

  • 2 to 3 years opened / 3-4 years unopened

Hair care/styling products

  •  Unopened hair care products have a shelf life of 3 years and only 18 months once opened.

Changes in smell and texture, or color are all signs that a product is breaking down due to age or contamination.

Hairspray has no expiration date.

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Holly Lake
Professional Organizer , Holly On The Spot
Holly Lake founder of Holly on the Spot specializes in assisting clients with organizing their homes and offices in a very large or small way. Closets, pantry’s and basements are only part of her specialty. When planning for a move Holly and her team can assist with packing or unpacking and helping clients make the most of their space in their new or existing home. She will even assist in selling items that no longer work for you or your current space or lifestyle. Holly on the Spot allows their clients to stay focused on careers and families, while keeping them organized and assisting with daily tasks. She helps her clients stay organized which helps reduce stress in life. Personal errand services are also available. Holly takes pride in building a personal and professional relationship with her clients. The nature of the work is often very personal, so Holly’s professional and focused approach is important to her discerning clientele. She has become a trusted friend to many of her clients. She takes great pride in offering a personalized service. Holly Lake founder of Holly on the Spot is passionate about helping others. She spent the first 22 years of her career at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. She is also a licensed cosmetologist, specializing in fashion consulting, hair and nails. Holly helps her clients remove clutter and organize their life. Holly and her team are truly a full-service company, no job is too big or small.
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