Ah Spring! All living things renewed. It's also a great time to review your cosmetics and other beauty products. Using products that may be past their prime can cause them to appear streaky or not look the way they should, but even more -- use beyond the expiration date can actually cause serious health risks. Another benefit of a good cosmetic spring clean??? It gives you more space in the drawer for something new!!!
What do you toss?
If you are wondering whether or not it’s time to ditch your makeup, there are three things you can look out for. Look for changes in smell, color, and consistency. These changes are good indicators that the product has gone bad. Some products naturally have a smell so look for a smell that is pungent and lingers. When a product has gone bad there won’t be any doubt in your mind.
If your makeup is expired, the quality that you’ve come to love is gone. This is easiest to detect in nail polish. You’ll know it has gone bad because you’ll spend hours trying to un-crust the screw-on top. And if you do succeed, your once-adored red nail polish looks like goopy mounds of glue. Using expired makeup is risky because infections can occur from the bacteria and germs that grow on the product. Pay extra attention to the makeup around your eyes. These products, such as mascara, eyeliner, etc. tend to accumulate bacteria faster.
While organic makeup is better for your skin, it tends to go bad quicker. This is because organic makeup doesn’t contain many of the harmful chemicals that are used as preservatives. For this reason, it is vital to keep an eye out for these changes. Chemicals in certain cosmetics can break down and change over time and may cause irritation and inflammation in the form of a rash. In extreme cases, expired cosmetics can cause infections, as bacteria and even viruses can grow in some old makeup products.
Tips To Make It Last - There are steps you can take to make sure your products make it to the end of the year without going bad.
- You can keep pencil eyeliners essentially until they run out or the tip turns white or gray -- this can be a sign of mold. You can prevent this from happening, however, by sharpening the tip periodically, causing new bacteria to fall off with the shavings.
- Everyone hates to throw out good lipstick; one way to avoid being wasteful is to buy colors by season. You don’t have a need for coral lipstick during December, so resist the urge to buy it until April. When you buy winter shades in winter and summer shades in summer, you save your makeup from sitting in your makeup bag unused for months.
- Another simple tip is to keep products out of the sun. Heat and humidity can ruin your makeup, so store them in a cool, dry, and dark place.
- If you want to get the most out of your powder products, invest in a cosmetic sanitizing spray or mist of 70% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the pan every month or so.
- Applying your makeup with a brush, not your finger, keeps the germs from your hands out of your products. And while we’re on the theme of germs, don’t share makeup with other people.
- Clean your brushes regularly. Dipping dirty brushes into the product just moves bacteria from one place to another.
- Lipstick: 1 year
- Eyeshadow: 2 years
- Lip gloss: 1 year
- Blush & Bronzer: 2 years
- Eyeshadow Primer: 1 year
- Mascara: 3 to 6 months
- Exfoliates: 1 year
- Lip pencils and Eyeliners: 1 year. Liquid eyeliner can be kept up to 12 months. You can keep pencil eyeliners essentially until they run out or the tip turns white or gray -- this can be a sign of mold. You can prevent this from happening, however, by sharpening the tip periodically, causing new bacteria to fall off with the shavings.
- Mascara should be tossed every three months as the eyes are especially susceptible to infections.
- Moisturizers When it comes to moisturizer, the life span really depends on the packaging. If it has an airless pump, you can probably keep your moisturizer for over a year. If it is in a jar, toss it before a year is up because you are constantly introducing new bacteria into the jar every time you scoop the product out with your hands.
- Sunscreen can last up to three years if kept in a cool, dry, place. This is almost never the case, however, as people tend to take sunscreen to the beach and leave it on a towel or in a hot car. When exposed to heat, the chemicals in sunscreen can break down and either won't work or will make your skin break out, so Bowe recommends tossing your product before that happens.
- Liquid foundation usually lasts between a year and a year-and-a-half if stored in a cool, dry, place away from direct sunlight. If you notice that your product is separating into different phases or layers, this means it's time to toss it.
- Powder foundations should last a few months longer than liquid foundations, or up to 18 months, if stored in the same conditions and in a sealed container. If you leave powder foundation open, however, it goes bad much more quickly. Powders are made with binding agents that absorb moisture, and if you leave the powder open, it dries out and won't work as well, and you may have to toss it much sooner than 18 months.
- Retinol creams can last about a year if stored in a glass container and away from sunlight, as most retinols are light-sensitive, meaning if you keep them near a window they can break down quickly.
- Vitamin C serums vary dramatically when it comes to stability, and are especially sensitive and break down quickly when exposed to light or air. They key is to keep a close eye on your serum: once it starts changing color (such as going from clear to brown), it is time to toss it. The best rule of thumb...if in doubt, toss it!