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How Long Does Mascara Last Unopened? [Honest Answer]

Mascara is a must-have for any beauty addict, and can transform your entire makeup look in just a couple of swipes of the mascara wand.

Mascara is definitely one of my favorite beauty products, and eye makeup products.

However, we all know mascaras have a short life, but how long does mascara last unopened? If you’d like to know the answer, keep on reading…

How Long Does Mascara Last Unopened

What is mascara?

Mascara is a cosmetic product that is used to darken, lengthen, and thicken eyelashes. It is available in a variety of formulas, and can be applied with a brush or wand.

When applied correctly, mascara can give the appearance of longer, fuller lashes. It can also help to accentuate the eyes and make them look more dramatic.

However, mascara can also be difficult to apply, and can sometimes cause clumping or flaking.

It is important to choose a formula that matches your eyelash type, and to apply it carefully to avoid any unwanted effects.

Whether you use it every day or just for special occasions, mascara is a versatile product that can help you create a range of looks.

What are the benefits of using mascara?

Mascara is a cosmetic product that is used to darken and lengthen the eyelashes. It is typically made from a combination of waxes, oils, pigment, and water.

Mascara can provide a number of benefits, including making the eyes appear more open and awake. It can also help to create the illusion of thicker, fuller lashes.

In addition, mascara can be used to create different eye looks, from a natural everyday look to a more dramatic evening look.

What are the most common ingredients inside a mascara?

The most common ingredients in mascara are waxes, oils, pigments, and water. These ingredients work together to darken, lengthen, and thicken the eyelashes.

Different formulas may contain different proportions of these ingredients, which can affect the overall look and feel of the mascara.

Also, some mascaras may be more waterproof than others, or may have a more volumizing effect. It is important to choose a formula that matches your needs and preferences.

How to apply mascara for the best results?

How long does mascara last unopened?

When unopened and properly stored, mascara can last a decent amount of time. Generally speaking, an unopened tube of mascara should remain usable for three years after its manufacture date printed on the tube’s packaging.

That said, it’s best to check the expiry date on each mascara package because this may vary from brand-to-brand or even batch-to-batch within a given brand due to ingredients used in production or other factors related to manufacturing processes.

Once opened, however, the lifespan changes significantly; most mascaras are no longer considered safe or effective use after three months since bacteria can build up over time from normal use, and you don’t want to be using an expired mascara.

Also note that if you notice any clumping in your mascara or a change in the scent (it should never have an odor), toss it out as this could mean it has gone bad already due to improper storage conditions or too much exposure airflow.

To extend the life of opened mascaras as long as possible and avoid bacterial buildup, always close them tightly after each application and store them away from direct sunlight at room temperature – keep away from extreme temperatures.

Overall, when unopened and stored properly under ideal conditions (cool/dry area with proper air circulation) an unopened tube of mascara typically remains usable for three years past its manufacture date printed on its packaging; however once opened be sure to check expiration dates carefully and replace at least every 3 months for safety reasons, to prevent an eye infection.

How long does a mascara last for if it’s not used everyday?

Even if you’re not using it every day, mascara has a shelf life of around three months. After that, the formula starts to break down and can actually become a breeding ground for bacteria.

So, even if it doesn’t look dried out or clumpy, it’s time to toss your old mascara and start fresh.

To get the most out of your mascara, always close the lid tightly and store your beauty products in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

How long does an open mascara last for?

As mentioned above, it’s recommended that we toss our open mascaras after three months.

This is due to the fact that an open mascara is a breeding ground for bacteria, and you don’t want to risk transferring that bacteria to your eyes.

So, an open mascara, no matter how often you’ve used it, will need to be put in the bin after three months.

Unopened makeup will always last longer, as it hasn’t had bacterial growth, and you can’t wash your mascaras and lip products like you can with say makeup brushes.

What happens if you continue to use an expired mascara?

This is due to bacteria that can form on the wand over time as it is continually used. Old and expired mascaras tend to dry out more quickly, leading them to clump up and flake onto your eyes during application.

Not only does this interfere with the desired look of your makeup, but it also poses an irritation hazard as tiny particles of product are lodged in your eye.

Since mascara typically contains preservatives and other hydrating agents like glycerin and vitamins, older forms of these products may no longer be able to effectively protect your lashes from drying out or breaking apart during makeup application.

Even if the formula appears fit for use at first glance, prolonged usage beyond its shelf life could lead to brittle lashes or even allergic reactions from ingredients that have lost their potency over time.

As a result, while it may seem harmless enough at first glance, using an expired mascara puts you at risk for experiencing any number of harmful side effects including infections in the eyelids or other parts of the face such as redness or itchiness.

You’re also less likely to get a desirable end result when applying makeup compared with using fresh formulas—making it all the more important to always read expiration dates before reaching for mascara tubes to safeguard your eye health going forward.

How to tell if your mascara has expired?

How to store your mascara tubes, so they don’t expire?

Storing and caring for your mascara tubes properly is important in ensuring that they do not expire before their expiration date. Here are a few tips on how to store them correctly.

First, store the mascara tubes away from any direct sunlight or heat source. This will help prevent ingredients within the mascara from breaking down prematurely.

Keep them away from humid environments, as this can cause bacteria buildup, which could lead to contamination of the product and a shorter shelf life.

It is also important to not share your mascara with others, as this could potentially spread infection-causing bacteria between users.

It is recommended to replace your mascara every 3–6 months, even if it has not expired yet, since oils and other ingredients break down over time, making it less effective than when freshly purchased.

Cleaning the wand after each use using warm water or rubbing alcohol can help prevent further bacterial growth on the wand or applicator, allowing for hygienic application of eyelashes without risk of contamination or infection.

Keeping the cap tightly closed when storing also helps prolong its lifespan by preventing air from getting into the tube and causing oxidation of certain components found in mascara that eventually leads to loss of volume and effectiveness.

What can cause your mascara to expire prematurely?

Mascara can expire prematurely due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Exposure to air: If the mascara tube is not properly sealed, air can enter and cause the formula to change. This can lead to clumps and buildup on the wand, which makes it difficult to apply.
  • Improper application: Applying mascara too vigorously or near your eyes can cause particles of makeup or oils from your skin to get into the tube. These contaminants will react with the mascara formula and cause it to break down faster than usual.
  • Bacteria buildup: Even if you apply your mascara correctly, bacteria can accumulate in the bottle over time. This can cause an unpleasant smell and texture change that make it difficult or impossible to use.

To reduce these risks, it’s important to practice proper hygiene when applying mascara.

Always ensure that you’re using clean tools (such as cotton swabs) for removal, and keep your unused products away from damp areas like bathrooms or counters, where moisture may build up quickly.

Always close tubes tightly after each use so that air doesn’t have a chance to get inside and degrade the formula—and don’t forget about expiration dates.

How to tell if your mascara has expired?

As any beauty enthusiast knows, mascara is an essential part of any makeup routine.

Not only does it help to darken and lengthen lashes, but it also provides a finishing touch that can really make the eyes pop. However, mascara is also a product that has a relatively short shelf life.

After just three months, the formula can start to break down, leading to clumping, flaking, and irritation.

So, how can you tell if you have an expired mascara? One telltale sign is a change in texture or consistency.

If your mascara is starting to dry out or feels unusually thick, it’s time to toss it and start fresh. Dried mascara is most definitely expired.

You should also pay attention to the smell of your mascara. If it starts to develop a sour or musty odor, which is nothing like the original smell, it’s definitely time to replace it.

You will be able to notice if there’s a strange smell present (I know, sniffing the smell of mascara is kinda weird – but it’s important).

Finally, be on the lookout for changes in performance. If your mascara isn’t creating the same effect as it did when you first bought it, it’s probably past its prime, and could have had a growth of bacteria.

I would personally recommend getting a metallic permanent marker like a Sharpie, and writing the date on the base of the tube, so for example 03/08 or 12/12.

Just so you know, when it was when you opened the mascara, and you won’t risk using it longer than you safely should.

How long does a mini mascara last?

When it comes to mini travel sized mascaras, how long they last depends on a few factors. The first is the size of the tube.

Obviously, a smaller tube is going to need to be replaced more often than a larger one. The second factor is how often you use it.

If you only wear mascara occasionally, your mini mascara will last longer than if you wear it every day. Finally, it also depends on how much product is in the tube.

Some mini mascaras are packed full of product, while others have less. As a rule of thumb, I find you get eight weeks wear from a more generous travel sized mascara tube.

How can I make my mascara last all day?


Mascara is one of the most favorite products for finishing up a makeup look, but it’s always important to observe the shelf life indicator symbol on the labels for beauty products on the tubes.

To ensure you’re keeping your makeup products sanitary, and not risking any issues with your beauty products.

How long does unopened mascara last? An unopened mascara will last for upto eight months, but it’ll depend on the brand, formula and the preservatives that have been used in the manufacturing process.

Always follow the best storage practices to keep your makeup sanitary, and prevent you having to see an eye doctor due to expired eye makeup.

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