Female doctor in Durban

Dr H Ganesen( MBCHB, MMed Fam Med) 

What is in your make up bag?

Most women have a trusted favorite make up item in their make up bags.  Did you know that your make up can cause skin irritations and infections if stored for prolonged periods. Over time the active ingredients in cosmetics may become less effective. The preservatives may stop working and bacterial can grow in the make up.

Shelf life of make up

Most products have a limited shelf life and is labelled with a best before date. It is usually an open tub symbol with a number followed by a "M" which is the number of months it lasts after opened.

How long does specific make up last?

Eye shadow - 1 year

Lipstick - 18 months

Eyeliner - 1 year 

Liquid eyeliner - 3 months

Mascara - 3 months

Liquid foundation - 1 year

Face Powder, blusher, bronzer - 2 years

What are the health risks?

Mascara and liquid eyeliner: These items are easily contaminated with bacteria and can lead to styes, conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Foundations and concealers: When contaminated with bacteria they may clog the pores and lead to acne breakouts. If you already have acne ,avoid double dipping ie: do not put your finger in the tub, apply the make up to your skin and then dip the same finger in the tub again as this will spread bacteria from the skin to the tub. Rather apply make up with a sponge or pad than your fingers.


Lipsticks: Old lipsticks may harbour herpes virus and lead to recurrent 'cold sores'. It is for this reason that it is not advised to share lipsticks with your friends.


How to store make up?

Keep out of direct sunlight.

Keep away from heat source eg: heaters or leaving in the the car on a hot day.

Store in a cool dry place.