Today I’m going to address another fairly important make-up related issue. Just like my post on removing make-up before going to bed (on which I got so many great comments, thank you), I think this also is a matter that needs more attention. Why? We wouldn’t eat a yoghurt that’s been out of date for a year yet we use cosmetics that have reached their expiration date a long time ago. In most cases people just don’t know that there using expired make-up or that make-up can expire in the first place or they don’t see the harm in it.
Let me start with explaining with what I mean by products that have met their expiration date. There are two kinds of expiration dates: the one the product has unopened and the period of time you can keep using a product after it’s opened. The first expiration date is usually written like a date and the second one is written in a jar-symbol onto the product itself (for example 6M in a jar means it remains good for six months after opening). To prove a point, I’ll make an easy comparison with food! Take a can of corn for example. Unopened it can last up to, I don’t know, let’s say two years. However, if you have opened the can, you can’t keep it for two more years. Bacteria infiltrate the thing like Donnie Brasco infiltrated the mob. The same with make-up! The longer you keep your products, the more bacteria. When we apply the out-of-date products onto our face, it can all sorts of things: acne, blemishes, infections, redness, irritation, swelling, discoloration of the skin, rashes, dryness, lip ulcers and so on. Sometimes it does absolutely nothing at all. Still I don’t consider it healthy. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
So how do you finds this expiration date? It’s not always on the product itself because it’s not mandatory in every country. If the product doesn’t have an expiration date printed on it, develop the new habit to put a little sticker on the bottom with the day of your purchase on it! Use this handy list to find out whether your make-up is still good or not.
Liquid eyeliner: 3-4 months
Mascara: 3-6 months
Bronzing: 6 months
Skin-care products in a jar: 6 – 8 months
Skin-care products with in a tube or with a pump: 1 year
Eye pencils, lip pencils: 1 year
Water-based foundation (labeled as matte or matifying, usually liquid): 1 year
Oil-based foundation (usually cream-like): 1,5 years
Nail polishes: 1,5 years
Powders such as eye shadows and blushes: 1 – 2 years
Lipstick, lip gloss: 1 – 2 years
Still not sure? Check if your product’s consistency or smell has changed. A dried out mascara, a thick nail polish or that no-so rosy smelling anymore lipstick are examples of products that have reached their expiration date. Throw them out! It’s not easy, I know. It feels like you’re throwing your money right into the trash can but you’re really doing your skin a favor.
If you don’t feel comfortable throwing out all your ‘bad’ make-up at once, take baby steps! Pile up all the make-up that’s reached its expiration date and toss away the items that you simply don’t use (anymore). Trust me, nobody has a perfect make-up stash, we all have things we just can’t throw away. Just be very careful and be aware of the consequences.
One last tip about cleaning up your make-up stash: whilst you’re busy, wash your make-up bag as well. It can probably use the clean-up!
Are you guilty of ‘hoarding’ make-up? Do you find it difficult to throw it away?