Is It Ok to Use Expired Makeup Remover?

Is It Ok to Use Expired Makeup

We all want to save money, there is no being weird about it. When we can save a couple of bucks we are happy as can be! Or at least I am.

I’m still a girl in her early twenty’s putting herself through college. Nothing weird about that. When it comes to money, I like to spend it wisely because I can only spend it once. 

A while ago I took this to the extreme and thought that there was no harm in using expired makeup remover. Boy, was I wrong! I then found out that my skin isn’t as resilient as I thought. My skin started akin and that’s never a good sign.

Does this mean that everyone who uses makeup remover that is expired will get the same reaction? No, every skin is different, but it can happen to you and that’s why I decided to write this article. I want to give you some more information about expired makeup products and if it is safe to use them after the expiration date.

So, let’s dive right in!

Is it ok to use expired makeup remover?

When you inspect the bottle of makeup remover, you’ll most likely find a symbol that looks like an opened-up cream jar with a number in it followed by the letter “M”. The letter “M” stands for the word “month” and the number you see next to it is used to tell you how many months. So if you see 12M, that means that the makeup remover you have in your hand is good 12 months after opening.

Now, should you use expired makeup remover?

You are probably better of not trying this out. The symbol I talked about above is not something they put on the label just for fun. They put it there to warn you that this product can expire and won’t be guaranteed to work after 12 months for example.

When you try the makeup remover wipes, you will probably see that it still removes makeup from your skin. This doesn’t mean that it is healthy for your skin, or that you should use them after that date, though.

What does it mean when the makeup remover is expired?

The fact that your makeup remover is expired means a couple of things in regards to the effectiveness of the product.

When your makeup remover goes bad, it means that the ingredients and chemicals that are in the makeup remover have changed and isn’t the same as it used to be. This in turn means that the effectiveness of the product isn’t guaranteed anymore.

Besides that, the fact that the ingredients and chemicals in the makeup remover changed after it’s gone bad, can also mean that it isn’t healthy anymore to try on your skin. When you use it, it can damage your skin. More on that below.

What happens if you use expired makeup remover?

Now, to be totally honest with you, I don’t think that using the makeup remover 3 to 4 days after the expiration date is going to harm you a lot. But, the longer your product has been expired, the more dangerous it can do to your skin. So don’t use it a month after.

There are a couple of risks you expose yourself to when you are going to use makeup remover that is expired. Below you’ll find the 3 risks and what they can do to the product or your skin.

Reduced effectiveness

As described earlier, the active ingredients in the expired makeup remover will reduce in effectiveness. This product tends to lose its potency over time and that’s why it isn’t a great idea to use them on your skin after the expiration date. 

It’s dangerous for your skin

The fact that the ingredients change and break down over time makes it dangerous for your skin. When the ingredients break down over time, it alters the way your remover works. Some of the ingredients will start to get weaker where other chemicals can become stronger. This in turn will create a chemically unstable product that isn’t a good fit for your skin.

When you use the product after the expiration date, you might set yourself up for painful skin reactions. Especially when you have sensitive skin.

Bacteria and fungi

When you forget about the product and eventually it is months and months over its expiration date, your bottle becoes a nice breeding place for microbes. This in turn can lead to a higher chance of skin infections.

Now, as I said, using the product a couple of days over the expiration date likely is harmless. But, after a couple weeks you should throw it out. It just isn’t worth the risk. You don’t want to walk around with a skin infection or irritated skin just because you were too lazy to boy a new bottle of makeup remover.

How do you know if your makeup remover is expired?

As I said above, you should see it on the product itself. There should be a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol. It looks just like a opened-up cream jar with a number in it. When your product has been opened longer than the timeframe on the bottle, you should throw it away because it is expired. But are there some other things you can look at to find out if your makeup remover is expired? Yes you can!

1 – The first thing you should do is smell the makeup remover. The makeup remover will most likely smell unpleasantly different from what it used to be. This is a good indicator that the product is expired.

2- The second thing you can do if looking for discoloration. Many products will turn into another color (slightly) because of the chemical imbalance.

3 – The last thing you can do is to see if the texture is changed. With makeup remover this can be a little hard and the other 2 above would be better indicators, but if you see that the texture has changed, it’s time to throw your makeup remover out the window!


It isn’t weird to use makeup (or in this case makeup remover) for a long time. Often we do not use a lot of it and it can take months to empty the bottle. That said, I want to point out again that using makeup remover that is expired can be seriously bad for your skin and I think that should be enough reason to not use the product after the expiration date.

So, is it ok to use expired makeup remover? No it isn’t you should probably throw it away and buy a new one!

Further reading material

I hope that you’ve learned by now that it is better to buy a new product than to use products or your skin that aren’t good anymore. It’s just not worth the risk! Do you want to learn more about how and when to use makeup and when to throw it out? Click on one of the links below and start reading about it!

How Long Does Setting Spray Last (And When Does It Expire)?
Is it weird to not wear makeup?
Is it weird for guys to wear makeup?

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