When shopping for groceries, what is the one thing we always do? We look for the product with the longest expiration date to make it last, or in the case we forget its in the pantry or fridge (which is me, all the time!) we have a chance of using it when we do finally get around to it. The funny thing is that when it comes to makeup or personal care products, we don't apply the same thinking. All products must break down and lose their active properties which promoted us to buy them in the first place. Just like we wouldn't eat something that is a year, month, or even a week old, we should practice this thinking with makeup. Without proper care and cleanliness, that makeup you put on your face day in and day out can be harboring bacteria and may be the answer to those unexpected breakouts or other skin problems.
1. Mascara: This one might be familiar to you- the 3 month rule is pretty much common knowledge, but if you're one of the few who didn't know, well now you do! Once a mascara is open, it takes about 3 months for the formula to start breaking down and begin to dry up. This is due to air being pumped into the container when the wand is being pushed in and out. A great tip to extend the length of your mascara is to not pump the wand to extract the product, but to wiggle the wand around the inside of the tube to get the mascara out. Another reason to throw it out is if it becomes contaminated or "dirty" if your eye comes into contact with something in the air that causes irritation, or the dreaded "P" word happens- pink eye! If this occurs and you've been continually using the same mascara after contact, throw it out!
2. Foundation, Concealer: These products can vary in their 12-18 month expiration dates because of formulations and care of the product. I have many foundations that I rotate in my weekly use depending on weather conditions, finish, and color, so I may have the same foundations in use for over the 12 month mark and are still useable. What can alter this is how the foundation is packaged. I find that when they come in pump form, less air and chance of bacteria entering the bottle is likely to occur, extending the life of the foundation. When it comes in a compact cream form that when opened to use is exposed, theres more chance of bacteria build up or of drying out. What's important when using compact form foundations is to use a clean sponge with each application, or with concealer, using clean fingers and brushes!! Many of them come with their own sponge, which is great, but I recommend washing the sponge every 2-3 uses, especially if you are experiencing a change of skin or breakouts, if not you're just spreading harmful irritants on your skin with each application.
3. Eyeliners: Just like with very product, cleanliness is key. We all know we shouldn't share makeup, but if you do, or in the case of makeup artists who work on multiple clients, make sure you sanitize after each use. One product that is great for this is from Beauty So Clean. They sell sanitizing mists and wipes for product cleaning. As with mascara, if you get an irritation or infection in the eye, throw out any eyeliner product you have used to prevent further infection.
4. Lip Products: This one can be a bit tricky, especially for those who love lip products and can't bear with parting with their favorite lipstick (like me!). The innocent act of freshening up our lips after eating or drinking can cause bacteria and food particles to live inside a lipgloss tube or on the surface of a lipstick, quickly turning our beloved lip glosses into bacteria breeding grounds. To take extra precaution, make sure your lips are clean of any foreign objects such a food residue and clean the top of the lipstick or the tip of the lipgloss applicator before and after every use.
5. Powder products (face powder, blush, eyeshadows, etc.): This is the one product I always thought couldn't go bad, but its important to remember that the ingredients in powder products will eventually break down and contamination with outside bacteria is still possible, especially when using the applicators that come with many of these products. Eyeshadows kinda give a tell tale sign that they may not be at its fullest potential by change of texture and color, but this may not always happen. Discernment is key in this area. If something looks weird, or if the texture has changed, don't hesitate. As the saying goes- when in doubt, throw it out!
Hope this post was helpful! Cleanliness is so important in makeup application and can be the answer to skin irritation and infection. So, what products do you need to get rid? Just think, getting rid of products just means you have to buy new ones, sounds good to me!
When I'm not spending way too much time getting ready or drooling over the newest beauty product, I'm a stay at home mom of a rambunctious 4 year old boy, a sweet baby girl we lovingly call "sissy", and a wife to my high school sweetheart.