A new study has revealed that women are putting their health at risk by using cosmetics that have gone off.
In the research, many admitted that they completely ignore use-by dates on make-up and toiletries - sometimes keeping items for several years too long.
Even when the products start to smell or become discoloured, women confess to ignoring the official guidance and continuing to use them well past their best-before date, reports the Daily Express.
The new findings from Opinium Research show that 15 per cent of cosmetics buyers are not aware that beauty products have 'use by' dates, and a further 49 per cent do not check this date, despite knowing it is there.
A third of the 3,813 questioned said that they do check dates but do not necessarily follow them.
"Consumers themselves are the greatest source of possible contamination for cosmetic products," said Dr Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association.
"Bacteria, yeasts and moulds, awful though it sounds, are always present on our skin and hair, in the air around us, and on the many items we touch every da," he said.
Although most micro-organisms are harmless, some can lead to product spoilage. Continued use of a spoiled product could lead to skin irritations or even infections in broken or sensitive skin.