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photo: iStock/Marissa Pina, Vivala

As much as we love our favorite makeup products, there’s probably a high chance that some need to be sent to the trash. It’s tough, especially if we paid a pretty penny for that killer shade of lipstick and there’s still plenty left in the tube, but did you know that you could be smearing your face with a fine layer of germs? Gross, we know. Most products have an expiration date, and when you’re applying them to your eyes and lips, it’s best to know when it’s time to say adieu and go shopping.

First, learn how long your product is meant to last by checking the packaging or container. If you spot a tiny icon of an opened container with a number written inside it followed by an “M,” it should tell you the number of months that the product should be good to use. But that time frame means nothing if you have improper storage and dirty habits that could speed up that expiration period.

“When products become contaminated with bacteria, such as from makeup brushes or the skin, they can contribute to the breakdown of the product before their natural expiration date,” says Flor A. Mayoral, MD, a dermatologist. “Also, the oils that are inside some of the compacts or products we use eventually break down — especially if kept in a warm environment like your car.”

Click through the slideshow to find out exactly when you should toss all your favorite products. 

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