This is the expiry date on your beauty products you never knew existed

Allison Yee

It’s one of those essential life chores we never quite get around to doing, but now there’s no excuse not to throw away old beauty products thanks to a little symbol most of us have probably never seen before.

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While it’s tempting to plead ignorance and breathe a little extra life – and a couple months extra use – into your favourite foundation, there’s actually a very clear symbol on the packaging that tells you exactly when it needs to be binned.

Source: Giphy

Known as the period-after-opening symbol or PAO, it’s usually located on the back of the product.

The PAO symbol is your saviour when it comes to knowing when to bin your beauty products.

This is pretty handy when you think of all the nasty things that can happen from using old make-up – think eye infections and skin irritations.

For those who still want a bit of a rough guideline, here’s when you should think about throwing your beauty buys away.

Make-up sponges: 1 month

Mascara and liquid eyeliner: 6 months

Concealer, foundation, moisturiser: 12 months

Blush, bronzer, eyeshade and eyeliner: 18 months

Lipstick and gloss: 18-24 months


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