Does Lip Gloss Expire? How Long Does Lip Gloss Last?

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You open up your bag and find a long-lost lip gloss living at the bottom of your purse. Do you still remember when you first opened it? How long does lip gloss last? Does lip gloss expire?

Lip gloss does expire, just like any other makeup. If you know when you opened it, it’s probably good for 12-18 months. If you don’t know when you first opened it, it’s probably best to toss it.

What if you didn’t open it, but it’s old? How can you tell that it is already expired and what happens if you use expired lip gloss? When does lip gloss expire?

We’ll help you answer all those questions below. 


How Long Does Lip Gloss Last?


When you accidentally find an old lipgloss you haven’t seen for years, you can’t help but feel nostalgic about it! Especially if it is one of your favorites, one of the classics in your basic makeup kit.

However, before you swipe that product on your lips, think carefully about what you are about to do. 

Lip glosses, just like any other makeup or skincare product, will eventually expire.

If your lipgloss is already opened, you only have about a year to use it. At most, you can probably use it for up to 18 months.

However, using it beyond that is putting yourself more at risk for unwanted consequences. 

If the seal on your lip gloss isn’t broken and if it is stored properly, it may still be fresh for up to two years. But storage conditions are super important when it comes to the freshness of cosmetic products like lip gloss. 

If it is kept in the car on hot summer days or left frozen during the winter, then it is more likely to expire quickly.

Instead of risking your health, it is best to toss it out and just get another new product.

Why Does Lip Gloss Expire?

It can be disheartening to throw away a tube of lip gloss  that you haven’t really used up. There might still be a lot in the tube but when it is expired, it is really time to part ways with it. 

Lip Glosses expire because the different ingredients in the formula are already degraded. Sometimes, you can even see that the mixture has separated. Even if you try to re-mix them, the consistency still won’t be the same as a fresh one. 

Aside from that, expired lip glosses contain lots of bacteria. Lip glosses are usually liquid in consistency. And bacteria love that because they need moisture to thrive.

When you use bacteria-filled lip gloss on your lips, it can make you sick.

Bacteria gets access to your lip gloss whenever you use it. There are different types of bacteria that could also be present in your lips. If you have a cold or a sore, that could also be a source of the bacteria. 

The changes brought about by the degradation of ingredients, plus the action of the bacteria can affect the product. That’s why it may change inconsistency. And your gloss will probably not work as well as it used to. 

Additionally, it could also be a potential source of infection. To at least some degree, you’ll be ingesting some of that old lip gloss.

You don’t want to develop sores just because you used an expired lip gloss, don’t you?

Signs That Your Lip Gloss Has Expired

Sometimes, your lip gloss could already be no good, even if it hasn’t reached its expiration date. That depends on a variety of factors including how it was stored, how often it was used, and what it was exposed to. 

If you can’t remember when you opened your lip gloss or if you are unsure whether it is expired or not, here are a few signs it’s time to toss your gloss.

Change In Scent

Open up the tube of lip gloss and try to smell it. Lip glosses may have different scents. Some can smell fruity while others smell sweet. 

However, if there is already a change in the scent, or any sour or pungent notes, throw it away. As the ingredients of your lip gloss degrade, the fragrances will break down. This is the case with many beauty products. You’re not really ingesting them, so you need to rely on smell.

That change in scent is a sign that you should throw it out.

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Change In Texture Or Consistency

When in doubt, you can also try some of the gloss on your hand to test it. If the consistency or texture has changed, don’t use it anymore. 

It may feel gritty, clumpy, or more watery than it used to. That’s also a sign that the ingredients have already degraded. 

Don’t add water or oil to it because that won’t help. Just throw it out. It might already have lots of bacteria living in it as well.

Change In Appearance

Some lip glosses are formulated to be clear . If yours has already turned cloudy or if the color has darkened, it may already be expired. 

Cloudiness can signify that there are already contaminants in it that make it look different than it used to.

Even if it is not contaminated, a change in appearance should still be taken as a sign that it is already expired. 

What Happens If You Use Expired Lip Gloss?

What happens when you use a sketchy gloss?

The best-case scenario is that nothing happens to you.

You’d still be able to use it, but it may not work as it originally did. If you have a moisturizing lip gloss , it may not have moisturizing properties anymore. 

Also, the colors may not be as pigmented as they used to be because of the degraded ingredients. It can even change in color or how it feels on application. 

Additionally, it can also irritate your lips or the surrounding skin. You may develop rashes or even swelling. That’s because the ingredients aren’t as good as they used to and you may have a bad reaction to it. 

If things go really wrong, you could get infected with whatever bacteria is living in your lip gloss. If you have colds, cough, a sore, or any other infection while you used the lip gloss, using it again could exacerbate the infection, or reintroduce it. 

Final Thoughts

How long does lip gloss last? It depends when it was opened, and when it left the factory!

Your favorite lip gloss expires, so use it as much as you can. It is good for about a year to about 18 months until you need to throw it out. But if you store it improperly (like in your handbag, or in your car), it will degrade more quickly.

If you see a change in its odor, texture or appearance, it’s best to toss it.

And that is an excuse to buy a new one!

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).