Of all the categories of makeup, mascara is one that women wear on most days. So how long does a tube of mascara last? When should you replace it?
If a mascara is unused, the formula itself should be packed enough with preservatives for it to last up to two years but when it is used frequently, this changes the story.
The purpose of eyelashes are to protect the eyes and prevent contaminants and particles from the air and environment from getting into the eyes. So when mascara is applied to the lashes and the wand is dipped back into the tube, anything that is collected on the the lashes (bacteria included) will get into the tube and this is where possible problems can be created. Touching the mucus membrane of the eye with the wand, which is easy to do, compounds the issue.
As a general rule, it is best to replace mascara every 3 months. And truthfully, a mascara will dry out within this time so it’s more likely to flake off onto the face (or worse, into the eye) and not deliver the desired result.
Tip: To prevent mascara from drying out so quickly, avoid rapidly pumping the wand in and out of the tube as this only allows more air in, which shortens its life.
With all makeup, if it’s starting to change color, separate or smell strange, it’s always best to toss and replace quickly.
P.S. The mascara I’m loving these days is “They’re Real” by Benefit. The brush is amazing.
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”