Can I use 10 year old eyeshadow?

Using old or expired makeup products like eyeshadow can be risky. Over time, makeup formulations can change and degrade, making them less effective or even unsafe. However, with eyeshadow specifically, there are a few factors to consider when deciding if you can still use eyeshadow that is 10 years old.

Quick Answers

– Powder eyeshadows have a longer shelf life than creams or liquids and may still be usable after 10 years if stored properly.

– Check the eyeshadow for changes in texture, smell, and performance before using old product.

– Toss out eyeshadow that is cracked, dried out, changes color, or smells off.

– Be extra careful with eyeshadows that contain shimmer, glitter, or pearlescent ingredients as they degrade faster.

– While you may be able to use old powder eyeshadow, it’s best to replace mascara, liquid liner, and cream eyeshadows after 3-6 months.

How to Tell if Old Eyeshadow is Still Usable

The first step in determining if your 10 year old eyeshadow is still usable is to examine its condition. Check that the texture has not changed and the product is not dried out or cracked. Eyeshadows with a powder formula have the best chance of surviving 10 years if properly stored.

Next, check the color and pay attention to any changes. Significant fading or color changes mean the pigments have degraded and the eyeshadow should be discarded.

You’ll also want to smell the eyeshadow. Rancid or off odors indicate the product has turned and should be thrown away.

Finally, do a patch test. Apply a small amount to your arm and check for any irritation or reaction. If your skin remains normal, the eyeshadow is likely safe to apply to your eyelids.

How Storage Affects Eyeshadow Longevity

Proper storage is key for extending the shelf life of powder eyeshadows. The ideal storage conditions include:

  • A cool, dry place away from humidity and direct sunlight.
  • Keeping the eyeshadow tightly sealed when not in use.
  • Not storing in the bathroom where heat and steam can damage makeup.
  • Avoiding storage in very hot or cold environments which can accelerate ingredient breakdown.

Eyeshadows stored in less than ideal conditions likely won’t last as long. Heat, moisture, and air exposure degrade the ingredients and colors faster.

Do Eyeshadow Formulations Matter?

Powder eyeshadows have the best chance of surviving 10 years without turning. The powder formulas are more stable compared to creams and liquids.

Cream eyeshadows and eyeshadows containing shimmer, glitter, or pearlescent ingredients often have shorter shelf lives around 1-2 years. This is because the oils, silicones, and mineral pigments in those products tend to degrade faster.

If you have a 10 year old tub of shimmery peach cream shadow, it’s best to toss it. The consistency and performance will suffer after that long.

Are Old Eyeshadows Safe to Use?

While an eyeshadow may look and smell normal, that doesn’t guarantee safety. Very old makeup, especially liquids and creams, can harbor bacteria after being opened and used multiple times.

Using contaminated eyeshadow near your eyes risks infections. Pink eye and styes are examples of eye infections that can occur from old makeup.

Preservatives in eyeshadow help prevent bacteria and mold growth. However, the preservative effectiveness diminishes over time.

To avoid safety risks, it’s wise to be extra cautious with old eyeshadows and monitor for any eye irritation, reaction, or infection after use.

Signs Eyeshadow Has Gone Bad

Here are some clear signs that eyeshadow is too old and needs to be discarded:

Signs of Bad Eyeshadow Description
Change in consistency Dried out, cracked, moldy, separated from oil
Change in color Faded, change in hue
Change in smell Rancid, sour, or odd smell
Change in performance Patchy application, poor pigment
Irritation Burning, itching, stinging

If you notice any of the above signs, it’s time to toss the eyeshadow and replace it with a fresh version.

Do Other Eye Makeup Products Expire?

While powder eyeshadow may last beyond its labeled expiration date, other eye makeup products expire more quickly:

  • Mascara – Throw out after 3 months. Mascara has more contaminant risk from contact with eyes and the wand.
  • Liquid eyeliner – Toss after 6 months. The liquid formula can’t last as long as pencils.
  • Cream eyeshadow – Replace every 1-2 years for best texture and performance.
  • Eye makeup remover – Can last 2-3 years unopened but should not be kept longer.

Replacing products like mascara and eyeliner more often reduces chances of eye infections or styes. The packaging and wands collect bacteria over time.

Tips for Safely Using Old Eyeshadow

If you plan to use an older eyeshadow, follow these tips to reduce infection risks:

  • Sharpen powder eyeshadows before each use to remove the top layer that has been exposed to air.
  • Clean all brushes thoroughly before dipping back into old eyeshadow.
  • Use a clean applicator if the eyeshadow came with a sponge tip or doe foot applicator.
  • Don’t add water or mixing medium to revive dried out eyeshadow.
  • Discard at the first sign of irritation or infection.

Additionally, consider using an eye primer under powder eyeshadow. The primer creates a smooth base for application. It can also help older eyeshadows glide on more evenly.

Can You Sanitize Old Eyeshadow?

It’s tempting to try to sanitize eyeshadows to make them last longer. However, there is no great way to fully disinfect powder or cream eyeshadows.

You may come across DIY sanitizing suggestions like spraying with rubbing alcohol or using microwave heat. However, these can actually damage the eyeshadow formulas leading to more contamination risk.

There are some makeup sanitizing sprays on the market, but they have limited effectiveness based on clinical studies. Your safest bet is to replace eyeshadows after their usable lifespan.

Final Verdict

Can you use eyeshadow that is 10 years old? The answer depends on the specific product, proper storage, and formula. Powder eyeshadows have the best chance if the smell, texture, and color remain normal.

However, it’s generally recommended to toss eyeshadows after 2-3 years for optimal safety and performance. Very old makeup has higher risk of harboring bacteria and causing eye infections.

Use your best judgment checking for changes before applying decade-old eyeshadow. Be extra careful with products containing shimmer, cream, or liquid formulas. When in doubt, replacing old makeup is better for your eyes.

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