As many of my already know, I’m a huge fan of having a damn good clear out so recently I decided to tackle my bulging cosmetic drawers as it was pretty apparently the contents were breeding at a rapid rate or I was turning into a drug store hoarder.
Needless to say my vanity area is looking much more presentable *click here* if you’d like to check out the post where I ramble all about it! However in the interim of sorting out my stash I was horrified at the amount of dried up, cracked, flaked & WELL beyond their expiry date items that I’ve been harbouring (for not just months) but years. That’s right ladies… YEARS! *hangs head in pitiful shame* Needless to say this kick started me into really taking note of cosmetic expiration dates – and how obliviously ignorant I’ve been towards them. It begs belief how many of us could be smearing our delicate faces in gloopy old glosses, manky mascaras and burnt-out blushes on a daily basis, without fully realising the dangers that lurk inside those pretty little tubes.
Although most products come with an expiry date printed on the packaging, some of us may already have products where the packing is worn or damaged making it difficult to judge how long to keep it or what warning signs to watch out for. Always check the labels for a PAO (period after opening) that’s usually a number followed by an M and opened jar symbol. This guides you to how many months the product can be used for after you first open it. Ultimately, though – if in doubt, throw it out. It’s never worth playing reaction-roulette with your delicate complexion.
So if like me you’re guilty of hanging on to your stash well beyond it’s death date then maybe it’s time you made yourself comfy whilst we chatter about when to responsibly bin the beauty goodies…
Shelf Life: Approximately 3 months for mascara and up to 6 months for liquid liner.
Warning Signs: If it’s beginning to show signs of clumpiness, flaking or omitting a strange whiff then it’s time to part ways & treat yourself to a brand new tube.
Top Tip for Longer Life Span: Always ensure you keep the lid tightly screwed on to avoid it drying out. Don’t be tempted to pump your brush (I’m often guilty of this) as this pushes airbourne bacteria straight into the tube creating a potentially eye-watering concoction of breeding baddies *urggh* Instead give it a swirl around the inside so your brush picks up the product without the need to pump!
Shelf Life: 6-12 months.
Warning Signs: When the product has separated into layers, becomes lighter in colour or omits a strange/strong perfume aroma.
Top Tip for Longer Life Span: Buying foundation with a pump will help keep any bacteria from entering the chamber as will keeping the nib of your products clean and dry from remnants of old applications. Always remember to store out of sunlight as UV rays can destroy the preservatives that help keep your favourite foundation lasting longer!
Shelf Life: 2 years for lipstick, 1 year for gloss.
Warning Signs: If you’ve noticed your lipstick has become cracked & dry or your gloss has gone extra gloopy.
Top Tip for Longer Life Span: Always clean your lip products after every application, and avoid using when battling a bout of the lurgies! Always keep the lids on tight and stored out of direct sunlight. Disposable applicators can be super helpful for keeping bacteria at bay, as is using a well sanitised lip brush instead of applying straight from the bullet!
Shelf Life: 2 years.
Warning Signs: When the powder becomes flaky or feels different on the skin than when first purchased.
Top Tip for Longer Life Span: Thankfully powders are probably the hardiest products when it comes to preservation providing you look after them and keep everything as clean as possible. Always sanitise your brushes, particularly if you’re prone to breakouts or have very oily skin!
Shelf Life: 2 years powder, 12 months cream shadow.
Warning Signs: When the powder becomes overly cakey or surprisingly flakey then it’s time to trash. Cream shadows often become dried up or difficult to evenly apply.
Top Tip for Longer Life Span: Always use a clean brush to apply shadows rather than smoothing or blending with a finger, particularly when it comes to cream shadows… I’m often tempted to blend & reapply using my pinky finger! Cotton buds can be super helpful and really effective when blending, they’ll also stop your brushes from becoming clogged up with sticky cream products.
Shelf Life: 1 year.
Warning Signs: It’s time to bin if your pencil becomes dry, crumbly or brittle.
Top Tip for Longer Life Span: Always keep the top tightly secured on your pencils to avoid premature drying & contamination. Clean the nib on an antibacterial wipe after each application, don’t forget to clean your pencil sharpener too & ONLY use it for make up. Never be tempted to use a regular sharpener that’s been used on drawing or colouring pencils… seems obvious but it’s easily done when you’re in a rush!
DO: Wash your hands thoroughly BEFORE applying make-up.
DO: Clean your make-up bag or drawers regularly with antibacterial wipes.
DO: Store your products in a drawer set or cabinet away from sunlight.
DO: Ensure you abide by the PAO dates on your products to avoid infection or contamination of other products.
DO: Trash any products you may have used during an infection – relapse aint worth the risk ladies!
DON’T: Share your products with others.
DON’T: ‘Pump’ your mascara – twirl it girl 😉
DON’T: Forget to keep your caps & lids clean at all times.
DON’T: Store your products in direct sunlight! Acrylic storage may look incredibly pretty but consider the longevity of your stash by investing in something that keeps it stored well out of daylight!
DON’T: Get lazy with your brushes… I know, I know, it’s a chore but better off keeping them cleaned regularly than regretting a horrid bout of bacteria that could cause months of infectious issues!
Are you a self-confessed hoarder of beauty goodies well beyond their use by dates? or Are you super sharp when it comes to trashing your out-of-date stash? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below so do stop by and say a quick hello 🙂
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