For years I heard that you could use the same tube of mascara for a year before it went off. Last year a cosmetics sales representative told me that the shelf life could be up to four years! Shortly after that I heard six months. The most recent information I got from two different cosmetics counters is that one should toss mascara after three months of use because of the unsavory bacteria that collects around the brush after repeated contact with your eyes.

Who’s a gal to believe? I find it hard to throw away what seems like a perfectly good cosmetic before there are signs of it going bad. I can’t help but think that cosmetic companies are trying to turn their products around faster with a conveniently short expiration date. I’ve been using mascara daily for 20 years and it usually lasts for 6-8 months. I throw away the tube when it’s empty but not before. So far no problems. Should I be more careful with the suggested expiration date and toss the tube sooner? Or is my skepticism warranted.