How to tell if lipstick is bad

This article will discuss the telltale signs when a lipstick is bad, it will also focus on how to store lipsticks prolery to avoid any spoilage and how to keep lipsticks clean after every use. 

How to tell if lipstick is bad

An expired lipstick will lose one of the most desired features which is the pigment or color. Once the color starts to fade, it is most likely that the lipstick has already expired. You can apply it on your forearm to check the pigment and creamy texture to see if it can be used. 

A funny odour

Your lipstick will usually have a flavor which determines its smell. On the other hand, when lipstick goes bad the smell is bad and rustic. This means that there is bacterial growth on the lipstick. You will also notice that such lipstick will feel very dry to touch and after applying too.

This means that the moisture that is an important component is lost overtime. Expired lipsticks also break very easily as the hardened physical structure causes cracks and tips to fall off very easily. 

Beads of moisture 

Appearance of moisture beads is also a big indicator that your lipstick has expired. It will literally look as if your lipstick is sweating. This happens because of the breakdown of components which results in the separation of liquid and solid components. 

Patch test to confirm

Patch testing is also another way to confirm that your lipstick is bad. Expired lipsticks or the ones that are near to their expiry date give a very patchy and dry coverage. Even on your forearm, you will feel how the lipstick itself feels so dull, and very difficult to merge as if it is hard.

It is very important that you know when a lipstick has gone bad because you are applying it on your mouth which means that it is possible that you might nibble on your lips or eat some of the lipstick. Other than that, bad lipstick can cause skin rash or other skin related issues. 

Shelf life of a lipstick

Most of the lipsticks have a shelf life of 2 years after which it is not advised to keep using them. Some articles even insist on discontinuing use of lipstick after 1 year. It is imperative to look out for signs that confirm that lipstick has gone bad, but knowing about its shelf life is helpful as well.

Makeup industries spend thousands of dollars on natural preservatives to increase the shelf life of lipsticks but if you test the limits of the product by storing it at a high temperature then you are up for some serious disappointment. 

Sanitizing the mouldy patches?

You might have come across some ways to clean the moldy patches from your lipstick but that won’t work if the lipstick has expired. Sanitizing will only momentarily make the surface clean but still doesn’t make it safe to use on your lips.  

How to keep your lipstick clean 

Cleaning with alcohol

Yes, it is important to keep your lipstick clean and some experts even claim that lipsticks should be cleaned properly with alcohol after each use. Make sure that you clean it from the outside and not the actual product.


Putting lipsticks in a dry, cold place such as inside a refrigerator will keep the moisture away that leads to the growth of mold and bacteria on lipsticks.This also means that you can then keep lipsticks in your bag and they won’t melt. 

Use reusable cooling packs

Have you ever left your lipstick inside your bag and it melted? That is an irreversible damage unfortunately as the chemical formula has completely altered. To prevent such mishaps, use cooling packs in boxes to create a mini fridge where you can keep your lipsticks even when you are out!

Applying spoiled lipstick can make you sick?

As much as you hate throwing out good lipsticks, one should be able to do it when a lipstick has gone bad. Some makeup experts also say that bad lipsticks can actually make you fall sick, therefore, if you have recently been sick without any reason you might want to open your makeup pouch.

Now that you know what an expired lipstick looks, smells and feels like, don’t compromise on your health even if it is an expensive lipstick. It will not give you that fine texture and color that it once did and is definitely not good for your health too. 


This article  discusses the telltale signs when a lipstick is bad, it also focuses on how to store lipsticks prolery to avoid any spoilage and how to keep lipsticks clean after every use. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.