Alas poor cream stick, I knew him well…..
The thought of throwing away makeup after you paid good money may seem crazy and the topic of “does makeup go bad?” is often discussed on clown forums. Answers to this question range from; “if it looks okay use it” to “clown makeup never goes bad”.
Do these answers hold any truth, inquiring minds want to know? Before we get into a discussion of personal opinions, trial and error and home remedies to resurrect stale makeup, it is best to ask the professionals who make these products.
Ask the experts:
Before writing this article I made a few calls to the great folks at some of our major suppliers to get the inside scoop about whether or not clown makeup can go bad and how best to determine if a makeup is still good to use. The people I spoke with really know the product line and I was even put in contact with the head lab technician for one of the suppliers to get more specific details. This was very helpful and everyone was happy to share information with the consumer.
Professional brands such as Mehron, Gratobian, Kryolan, Wolfe and Global have a recommended unopened container shelf life and an open container usage life to meet the FDA and EU safety standards. Most of the brands will suggest a 3 to 4 year unopened container shelf life for the cream/ grease, liquid makeup and face paints. However the open container life is much less by the manufacturer safety standards.
How do you know?
Some of these products are considered safe for a full 12 months after being opened, others may be a bit less. The first measure to determine if the product is safe for use would be a physical inspection. A rancid smell would be a definite reason NOT to apply the makeup or a major shift in the physical appearance should raise suspicion. Face paints and pressed powder makeup can have a longer open container life as the indigents are not a wet form and may not degrade the same as cream, grease or liquid. of the product. Most of these manufacturers have added an open container symbol to the packaging with the suggested used by date printed within.
See photo below.
As you can see, the manufacturer suggests that this open container has a recommended usage period of 18 months.
If the cream/ grease paint makeup seems gritty this may be the result of the preservatives breaking down which means that the stability of the makeup is compromised and may cause an adverse reaction if applied. Contaminants such as your own facial oils can cause bacteria to form on the makeup cake as it sits in your kit unused for months or even years. So think about that before you slather on the tin of outdated makeup that you had stored in the garage for 20 years.
Keeping your supplies stored properly is the key for product longevity. Most cream/grease makeup holds up best when stored in a cool dry environment, preferably without great shifts in humidity or temperature. At a point you need to be conscious of when it’s time to toss the makeup tins when they have been around awhile. In the big picture, the makeup is not so expensive that one should risk skin irritation just to save a few dollars. I recommend that one purchase a smaller container of makeup if it will not be used on a regular basis. This way if it does expire you will not be wasting as much.
Ultimately you are the deciding factor as to use the makeup or not when the expiration date is in questions. The manufactures do their best to provide proper care and application information in the labeling of products to ensure the safety of the consumer.
This does not mean the makeup police will be knocking on your door if you have makeup in your kit past the expiration date, nor will you necessarily have some sort of reaction if the makeup is old; we simply want to provide information to help your makeup process be a good one.