Ew, what’s that smell?
Oh, it’s just my makeup…
How do you know when that tube o’ lipgloss or pan of eyeshadow has expired? Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell. Most beauty products lack expiration dates, and some may not visibly change when they’ve given up the ghost.
Still, even when it’s obvious that a product has gone bad, some of us refuse to let go. This summer the market researchers at Mintel found that just one in four British women discard their makeup, shampoo or shower gel after it starts to smell strange or look discolored. source
Why? Because, the researchers found, many of the women surveyed weren’t aware the products could expire.
Just like food items, beauty products — even natural and organic ones — are breeding grounds for bacteria, and natural products that contain fewer (or no) preservatives often have the shortest shelf lives of all. The risk of using products high in bacteria is INFECTION.
Lawd knows I’m guilty of keeping beauty products around far longer than I should … but sometimes it’s just so hard to say goodbye!
Expiration dates — from the time of first use
- Powders and shadows: 2 years
- Blush and Bronzer: 2 years
- Cream shadows: 12 to 18 months
- Concealer: 12 to 18 months
- Foundation: 1 year
- Lipstick & lipliner: 1 year
- Lip gloss: 18 to 24 months
- Mascara & eyeliners: 3 months
- Nail Color: 1 year
- Makeup brushes: Clean weekly using a mild detergent
- Makeup sponges: Replace weekly or when sponge becomes soiled
What else can you do?
Beyond these rough guidelines, it helps to enlist the help of your nose in checking beauty booty. If something smells a little off, maybe it is.
More things to watch out for? 1) Store products away from direct sunlight and heat, which can destroy preservatives and accelerate the growth of bacteria; 2) refrigerate products (some take better to cold temps than others do) to slow the growth of bacteria; 3) don’t use eye products when you have an eye infection; 4) be careful when you mix products because you could be spreading bacteria around; and 5) be aware that using shared department store testers is a primo A#1 way to catch something SCARY!
For even more on telling if your makeup has expired…
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. How was your afternoon? Anything cool happen today? I managed to sneak away for a few minutes up to Sephora and left with Lancome’s new Hypnose Drama mascara… Can’t wait to give it a try!
Other than that, I rented Confessions of a Shopaholic to watch tonight. Tabs is a big Isla Fisher fan.