When Should I Throw Away My Makeup?

Mascara: 3 Months

THE REASON When mascara dries out or gets clumpy, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, says optometrist Jennifer Giermek of N.Y.C.’s Naked Eye Optical. Discard immediately if you get an eye infection. “Reusing the brush can cause recurrences

Face Cream 2 Years
THE REASON “If the cream is in a jar, your fingers can introduce bacteria, so toss it after six to nine months, 12 months if it’s in a pump,” says Wilson. “Be sure to keep alpha-hydroxy creams tightly sealed or they can get more concentrated and cause irritation.”

Fragrance: 2 Years
THE REASON “Each spritz lets more air into the bottle,” says Roger Spain of Belle-Aire Fragrance. “This causes oxidation and slightly changes the scent—but it’s still fine to use.

Nail Polish: 1 Year

THE REASON With proper storage, expect polish to last up to one year. “Start examining it after nine months for color fading or separation,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. “That’s when you can tell that it won’t go on as smoothly.”

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