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Haven't touched your makeup lately? It may be time for some spring cleaning

Your old makeup might not have been touched lately but a dermatologist says it could be loaded with bacteria that's bad for your skin.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It might have been sitting around for months but can you still use it? We're talking about old makeup that hasn't been touched since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first thing you should do is check for the expiration date. 

"Expiration dates are really important to keep in mind when it comes to makeup," said Dr. Susan Massick, a dermatologist and assistant professor at Ohio State's college of medicine. 

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Sometimes, manufacturers will stamp on an actual expiration date, but they might also just put a period of time after opening stamp. For example, if you see a "3M," that means the product is good for three months after it's first opened. 

"Often times, it'll be a logo with an open jar with a number after it," Massick said. 

RELATED: Dermatologist gives tips for kids to avoid 'maskne' as they head back to school in-person

As for the shelf life, it depends on the type of makeup. Massick says these general guidelines are typically safe for most products: 

  • Mascara or eye liner should be replaced after three months
  • Liquid blush, concealers or foundations are good for a year
  • Anything that is a pencil, be it for lips, brows or eyes, can stay around a year
  • Lipsticks and lip glosses are good for one to two years

Not only can expired products not work but they can also harbor potentially harmful germs. 

"The downsides to those kinds of contaminations which are generally things like skin infections, skin irritation, certainly eye infections, conjunctivitis, sties, and those things can all arise from contaminated or expired makeup," Massick said.

RELATED: 'Disgusting' | Charlotte-area makeup testers contained MRSA, E. Coli and more, doctor says

If you notice your makeup is drying out, don't put water or saliva on it to fix the issue because that can actually introduce even more bacteria to your face when you apply the product. 

So as we start our spring cleaning, we may want to include the makeup bag!