We all get attached to our favorite beauty products. The lipstick shade that’s been in the cabinet for years, the mascara that cost you $30.00, your amazing anti-aging cream that really does get rid of crows feet but you haven’t used for years. It all was quite the investment and tossing it out seems silly, so we keep it for a few years. The product inside seems fine from your vantage point. What is the harm if it is still in good shape? Right? WRONG!
The dangers in keeping beauty products too long:
Anything that you open and close repeatedly and put your hands in, and then touch your face with is a breeding ground for infections. From the moment you open up makeup and other beauty products, it is already growing bacteria. It sounds gross doesn’t it? Don’t stress too much, just follow some easy timelines and follow these guidelines to determine when you should get rid of your beauty products.
What do I toss first?
As hard as it is to let go, the expensive mascara needs to go first. You may have heard of it before at some point :”Throw mascara out at three months.” It is good advice and definitely true. Mascara has the shortest lifespan of all beauty products and needs to be replaced 4 times a year. There isn’t much room to slide on this rule. Bacteria just festers in mascara bottles as we pump the wand In and out. It really needs to go right at three months.
What is next?
Liquid eyeliner and liquid brush on eye shadow need to go into the trash next. They last slightly longer at 4-6 months if properly stored in a cool place. The concept is the same as mascara. You are constantly inserting the applicator into the tube and brushing it on your eyes, introducing new germs with each swipe. If it is a sharpened eyeliner, you can get up to a year to use it.
Lasts a bit longer
Liquid foundations and acne products. You can keep these 6 months. Foundations are also opened and closed a lot and most people use their fingers at some point to either rub the makeup in or they put it in their hands when applying it. Using disposable sponges will extend the shelf life but they need to be tossed as soon as you use one once on each side. The ingredients in most acne creams begins to decay at 6 months so it is not as effective after that timeframe. There is no point in keeping acne cream that doesn’t get rid of acne anymore. Sunscreens come in at a year unless it has been in your car or the beach then you need to toss it at the end of the season.
What Lasts the Longest?
Creams products can be used for up to a year; lip-gloss also lasts a year. Eye shadow, bronzer, blush and lipstick all have up to two years of shelf life. This only applies if they are placed in the best storage conditions as recommended by the manufacturer. Otherwise, they can have a relatively short shelf life.
Why is there no expiration date on beauty products?
The FDA does not currently place a requirement on the cosmetics companies to put expiration dates on make-up and beauty products. They pretty much self-regulate. The manufacturers and cosmetic industry are in charge of letting consumers know when a product needs to go. It’s unfortunate that there is no set date to look at when you open a package but these guidelines are a good standard to go by. Your make-up will look and go on better when you don’t use old and probably contaminated products on your face and body.