From the first day she applies new lipstick or inaugurates a new bottle of facial cleanser, every American woman is headed toward the same dilemma. How long will that lipstick tube last? Does the razor you used twice and then forgot about for a couple months have some life left? When is cleanser too old to be effective?
Many of us are unsure when beauty products expire – or even if they do at all. Consequently, we may wind up holding on to partial bottles and remnants of products because we’re not sure of their usefulness. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your makeup?
Cleaning out old beauty products can be emotionally cathartic, and spare you from using expired items that may potentially irritate your skin or that just don’t work anymore. Plus, replacing the old makeup opens up opportunities for discovering great new cosmetics, beauty items and skin care products. Here’s some advice to get you started:
Because cosmetic products are used on some very germ-laden areas of our bodies, like around the eyes, nose and mouth, they can breed bacteria. Therefore, they don’t have an indefinite shelf-life. The usable life of some common cosmetics are:
- Mascara and liquid eyeliner–three months
- Cream eye shadows–three to four months
- Powder shadows–six months if you don’t reuse the applicator; three to four when reusing applicators
- Liquid, cream or powder foundation–one year if regularly applied with a new sponge or puff; six months if applied with fingertips.
- Cream and gel blush–six months. Powder blush–about a year
Once you’ve purged old cosmetics, you’ll be ready to restock with some of the season’s hottest new colors and products.
Skin Care Products
Skin care products can also be susceptible to bacteria growth over time, so if you don’t finish a product within a few months, keep an eye on how long you’ve had it. Discard products like moisturizers, concealers and toners that contain skin nutrients like vitamin C or alpha hydroxy acids after they’ve been open for about 12 months. Those active ingredients can lose their effectiveness after a year.
Exposure to moisture, air, direct sunlight and extreme temperatures can all affect the ingredients in skin care products, so store them in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight. And if a product separates or smells differently than it did when you first opened it, discard it right away.
Once you clear out old cleansers and moisturizers, reward your hard work by trying something new, like Olay Professional Pro-X Cleansers, which offer exfoliating and cream formulas. Both are designed to purify and renew skin for a refreshed, smooth texture. Or, pamper dry skin in areas that often get overlooked, like under your arms. Secret Soothing Effects antiperspirants and deodorants use soy and acai berry to soothe sensitive skin and hydrate that underappreciated skin under your arms.
Warm weather means getting a good shave is more important than ever for anyone who wants to wear shorts, tanks, miniskirts or bathing suits. Old shaving products, like razors and creams, not only become a breeding ground for bacteria, they can also leave your legs looking like you’ve been through a battle.
Depending on how often you shave, a razor should last a couple of weeks or a little longer. A good rule of thumb is to discard disposable razors when the moisture strip on top wears off. If a blade is visibly rusty, toss it immediately. To avoid rust problems, don’t leave your razor in the shower where it will repeatedly get wet every time someone showers.
Gather up old razors and any leftover shaving products older than a year and trash them. Then, treat yourself to a new shaving experience by trying Venus Embrace, a woman’s razor that gives a close, comfortable shave using five spring-mounted blades surrounded by a protective ribbon of moisture.
Cleaning out old cosmetics and skin care products can help you feel and look better this season. Plus, it’s great inspiration to reward your cleaning efforts by trying something new.