Have you opened your make-up drawer lately or bathroom cupboard and found it overflowing with eyeliners from decades ago, sunscreen that’s several year’s old, eye shadows, lipsticks and lip balms you’ve never actually used?
Spring is the perfect time for a fresh beginning, starting with a freshly cleaned out space where women and men store everything from face cleaners and moisturizers to all those little samples you receive.
Unopened, properly formulated and stored cosmetics can remain fresh for a couple of years, but when products are stored in hot or humid conditions (like your bathroom) or when they’ve already been opened, bacteria can form and ingredients can degrade.
So where to start?Toss out the old stuff. If your products have expiration dates, respect them – if the date has passed, throw them out.
- Mascara (regular or waterproof) and eyeliner: 3 to 6 months (always toss out dry mascara—never add water to extend its life)
- Cream, liquid or stick foundations/concealers: 6 months to 1 year
- Powder-based products (including blush, bronzer, etc.): 2 to 3 years
- Lipstick, gloss and lip pencils: 2 to 3 years
- Cleansers: 1 year
- Toners: 6 months to 1 year
- Exfoliants: 1 year
- Facial or body moisturizers and serums: 6 months to 1 year
- Lip balm: 1 year not used or tried? Toss it!
Apart from the mentioned guidelines, if the lipstick just isn’t your colour or the cologne sample not your scent, toss or give away. Why keep it cluttering up your life?
Wash your brushes and combs. Wash makeup and hair brushes under tap water with a gentle shampoo and rinse until the water runs clear. Dry well. You can also purchase cleanser at the drug store specifically for cleaning brushes. Also wash your eyelash curler. Use some hot water and gentle soap (without harsh chemicals).
Sunscreens usually include an expiration date indicating when they’re no longer effective. Discard tubes past their expiration date. If you buy sunscreen that doesn’t have an expiration date, write the date of purchase on the bottle.
Wash your makeup bag. Powders, pencil tips, and liquids can get onto the inside lining, where they then sit for months or years, usually in the dark—the perfect setup for bacteria. Wash inside and out with soap and wipe inside with bleach.
Better still; use the occasion as an excuse to purchase a bright new one for spring!
Good products do last longer if you take care of them. Here are some tips:
- Store products in a cabinet or drawer (away from light and heat)
- Wash your hands before using products.
- Always secure caps after each use.
- Toss out eye products after you’ve had an eye infection (and never share!)
- Follow the expiration dates on sunscreens, acne products, and prescription products.