Out with the old and in with the new. It’s finally time to trade up and toss out some of your vanity’s most guarded treasures. Start regarding your makeup bag and bathroom counter as face food that inevitably spoils, meaning all your products should be armed with an expiration date. So in the spirit of spring cleaning, we’re zeroing in on our complexion cures and makeup must-haves that have passed their prime and need to be replaced or sent out to pasture, with the help of Dr. Elena Brei, a research scientist and NuVsio Skin Care Founder.
Powdered makeup products
Generally speaking, the average shelf life of your cosmetics is much more forgiving than your skincare products. Those powder-based products, such as shadows and blushes, can stay stocked in your makeup bag for quite some time. Dr. Brei points out that “since powders have no water added, they have a long shelf life measured in years. Dispose of them as they stop performing due to lumping and agglomeration.”
Foundations and concealers
On the other hand, your favourite liquid foundation and concealer have an expiration date of approximately one year. If they’ve separated into layers, or the colour has mysteriously lightened, you’re way overdue for a new tube.
Lipsticks and lip glosses
That lip gloss you’ve been using since high school needed to be tossed a year after purchase (sorry!), while your go-to lipstick can stay put in your makeup kit for up to two years. We know the fear of a coveted shade becoming discontinued is real, but it’s just a risk you’ll have to take for the sake of sanity.
Mascara and liquid liners
In the case of products that “come in contact with your mucous membranes (eyes especially), they have a short shelf life. Be very cautious with your eye makeup, especially mascara. I hesitate holding onto any liquid makeup product for longer than three months and gravitate toward products that have sanitary containers (i.e. squeezable tubes and pumps vs. jars),” adds Dr. Brei. But if you’re looking to hoard a little bit longer, refrain from pumping the mascara wand, as that motion allows air to get trapped inside, ultimately causing an unfortunate buildup of bacteria.
Telltale signs of your makeup products reaching the point of expiration can be an unfamiliar smell, look or feel. Keep in mind that you should be paying extra attention to your makeup brushes, as these tools are breeding grounds for acne-causing bacteria. Ensure that you’re cleaning them on a routine basis and storing them in a clean, dry place. And no need to trade them in every few years, because if you’re taking care of them correctly they can last you a lifetime. So while we know that you’re going to have a hard time ditching some of your beloved beauty buys, it’s only for the best.
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