How Long Does Lipstick Last? Does It Expire?

Closeup of a variety of lipstick colours.
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Lipstick application is one instant light switch that transforms your appearance in moments. And this is why most women throughout history have invested in a good collection of different brands, colors, and finishes. But did you know that lipstick has an expiry date?


Well, it’s common to not know how long your lipstick collection lasts. Yet it’s crucial to take care of your lipsticks and trash them after some time. So how long does lipstick last, anyway? When should it be thrown out?


How Long Does Lipstick Last?

Lipsticks can last for two years, and sometimes even more. But those tubes are perishable, and how well you store them will impact the expiry date. It’s a good idea to write down the date you’ve opened your lipstick on the tube so that you don’t forget.

So your maintenance and storage game is crucial, and you should be on the lookout for any changes in texture. 

For instance, if there’s any dry-out or if you notice clumpiness upon lipstick application, then your favorite lipstick is expired.


The best you can do is trash and replace it with a new one.

How to Store Your Lipstick

It doesn’t matter which lipstick you have. All of them are delicate.

They get broken easily, and if exposed to extreme temperatures, the texture gets tampered with.

Before deciding on a lipstick storage technique, consider the size and quantity of the product, the period you will use it, and lastly if you prefer your product to be near you constantly.

Below are tips you can use to store your lipstick safely.

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  • Locate a perfect spot that is easily accessible dry, and safe to store your lipstick.
  • You can use a glass jar to keep your lipstick collection fresh and for an extended duration. Glass jars are sealed and ideal for limiting humidity and smells. Metal containers are also great. It is best to have a lid and prevent dampness and other odors.
  • Invest in a good lipstick box  to effectively organize all of your cosmetics. The boxes are also long-lasting and can easily fit into any place. Additionally, lipstick boxes help beauty lovers to arrange their collections, maximize space, and save money. The boxes have several sections separating lipsticks by brand name, or color, making them easier to locate when required.
  • The pillowcase option is ideal, especially for traveling, since it is simple to pack and provides some safety against breakage and staining
  • You only need to use the freezer option when you intend to stay for a good duration of time, like months without your lipstick. But once you want to use them, you will have to thaw/defrost before using them.

Should You Keep Your Lipstick’s Original Packaging?

Storing your lipsticks in their original container is a key component of lipstick storage. This may be impractical for you, and many don’t bother, but it is one way to safeguard the integrity of your sticks.

It will prevent aging damage, keep everything organized, and help you keep track of which lipsticks you opened when.

Lipsticks are an important part of your cosmetic regimen, and being extra cautious to ensure that they are safe should not be debatable. As much as these products are affordable, you don’t need to keep replacing your favorite color and losing a few dollars!

When Should You Replace Your Lipstick?

Expiry dates are normally indicated someplace on the package, particularly for US or European brands. If you can’t trace it, there are a few guidelines that experts propose. For instance, cosmetics that directly touch your skin, such as mascara, lipsticks, or foundation, should be replaced frequently to protect your skin and better functionality and protection against infection.

Below are signs that your lipsticks need a replacement.

  • Funky smells
  • Any moisture glistening
  • Crumbly texture

Other Makeup expiry tips to observe:

  • Every time you apply or reapply your lipstick, wash your hands to keep germs out. This will prolong the lifespan of your lipstick.
  • If you’ve had a cold sore, throw away any lip cosmetics that come into contact with it.
  • Mark the date you bought and when you opened your lipsticks on some sticky tape or a little sticker to help you keep track.
  • Cleanse your makeup box regularly to keep bacteria away. Avoid letting the makeup bag deteriorate and get nasty.
  • Mold formation – outdated cosmetics increase moisture build-ups within the containers over time, allowing mold to form. This mold development causes breakouts and other irritations.

Risks of Using Expired Lipstick

Applying expired cosmetics is not healthy, and depending on your skin type, you may have different symptoms. Below are some of the risks of using expired lipstick.


You may itch around your lip/mouth area as outdated lipsticks may contain irritants and germs. Lanolin content in lipstick contains a complex composition that can easily trigger allergic reactions such as redness, white spots, itchiness, and discomfort.

Health Issues

Yes, these are super remote risks. But still…

Anemia, renal failure, and even brain damage are possible. Lanolin, in aged lipstick, has a high absorption capacity. It may gather dust, germs, infections, plus heavy metals from the environment, which the lips can ingest.

Each time you eat and drink while wearing makeup, you make the chemicals enter your body.

Lipsticks are also toxic in cadmium and lead content. Applying outdated lipsticks can lead to exposure, kidney problems, anemia, neurological damage, and numbness.

Breast tumor

Preservatives and toxic substances, such as BHA contain carcinogens. The toxins can trigger breast cancers once the lipstick expires.

Also, with UV radiation, the artificial pigments in lip products may be converted into radicals, which may increase the risk of cancer. It’s a good idea to remove makeup before tanning.

Asthmatic symptoms

An escalation in asthma attacks is possible. If you have asthmatic conditions, then you should avoid using outdated cosmetics as they can cause irritation and trigger your attacks.


Lipsticks, just like any other products, are perishable and have a shelf life of 12 to 24 months that you should maintain. But with the right storage tips, you may extend the lifespan of your product.

When your lipstick is outdated, it’s best not to use it so that you can avoid the above skincare and health issues.

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).