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38. Therapist Thursday - Conversations with a Skin Therapist: Makeup FAQs

Updated: Mar 21

Last week I was chatting to a friend and she said “I keep thinking I must ask D about how long products last,” as it’s the last thing on her lockdown clear out list! So I said fire away and here are the 3 questions she asked:

1. How long should I keep my bronzer, I bought it 2 years ago and have used it less than 5 times. Toss or keep?

See the jar with an open lid with 12M inside. It means it expires after 12 months of opening.

There should be a picture on the back of your bronzer that has a little pot with a lid and a number. This indicates the product's shelf life. If you go past this date products can harbour bacteria and can cause cosmetegenic acne, which are little bumps under the skin. But if you have only used it 5 times and it doesn't affect your skin, I personally would keep it in my makeup bag.

2. How long does foundation keep? I asked a makeup counter and the girl told me 2 years, won't it just separate and become rancid?

Again the same applies to foundation with the recommended expiry date, however if the product has a hygienic dispense top (something that just expells the products and doesn't allow contaminated makeup to mix with the rest) it may last longer. Also if you store your makeup in a cool place out of sunlight it can last longer. If it smells, stings, or causes a reaction - bin it!

3. Can you recommend a good primer for mascara?

Mascara primers are often white and used to boost the look of mascara to make lashes look thicker and longer whilst the lashes feel soft and supple. To use, apply one layer of primer and two layers of mascara for a daytime look (an extra layer or two for evenings!) My favourite primer is Prep + Prime Lash by MAC. Lancôme also make a nice primer.

If you have any questions email me at

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