According to research by retailer Debenhams, the average British woman’s make-up is out of date by a staggering four years.
Core beauty items including foundation, mascara, lipstick and eyeliner, all have a use by indicator warning how many months the product can be open for.
A whopping 89 per cent of women are not aware that make-up has a shelf life and do not understand what the symbols on the packaging mean.
The expiry date is there to protect women from contamination from air and bacteria getting into the products over time, which can cause skin irritation and even infection.
Bevis Man of the British Skin Foundation said: “It’s not always obvious when make-up has passed its prime, so it may not occur to people to replace their products. It is best to err on the side of caution and if a product looks or smells strange, it is worth throwing it away.
“Your eyes are one area of your face you need to be particularly careful with, as eye infections can be painful and long-lasting. Make-up sponges are a particular haven for bacteria, especially if they are kept for a long period of time and are not washed. Again, it is best to keep them clean and replace them after a few months’ use.”