Dermatologists frequently give guidance on how long we should use specific beauty products; the FDA also has recommendations.
The three-month guideline for mascara is one that sticks out in our thoughts (whether we all adhere to such advice is another story entirely).
It seems reasonable, and we obviously don’t want to use expired things because they could be swarming with icky, potentially deadly bacteria. Despite this, we’ve made it this far in life without ever realizing there’s an embarrassingly simple way to tell if one of our makeup, hair or skincare essentials is past its prime.
Did you know that each beauty product’s container and/or label has a small stamp that indicates how long you should keep it?
Yes, it is present.
When you’re looking for a shade name or ingredients list, it appears like a little open jar with a number inside (technically termed the PAO logo, or period after opening), and your eyes have undoubtedly scanned right past it a million times.
Start by looking around your refrigerator and you’ll probably be able to discern what should be thrown out just by looking at it for a few seconds. Vegetables and spices begin to wilt and dry up, while cooked meals begin to develop oil on the tops of plastic containers.
And what about that milk? With only one whiff, you’ll know it’s not safe to drink.
What about when you’re looking through your makeup bag, shower, or medicine cabinet? It’s not always evident whether your foundation or shampoo is safe to use or whether it’s time to change it. Expired goods are not only unpleasant, but they can also be harmful to your skin.
Do you want to know how long your prized possessions will last? Here’s what the dermatologists have to say.
It’s become second nature to us to wake up, wash our face, make a cup of coffee, and apply moisturizer. Most people develop a strong attachment to their favourite moisturizer and you should be just as committed to ensuring that yours is still going strong. A decent moisturizer can last up to a year, and you’re good to go as long as it looks and feels the same as when you first opened the container.
How to know whether something is bad: You’ll notice a variation in colour and even smell with time, depending on the conditions in which you store your moisturizer. Say goodbye to that bottle if this happens.
Before it’s time to part up with your cherished liquid foundation, you have approximately a year to hang on to it. Cut yourself off at six months if you have a sponge-style foundation or a cream-based foundation that requires you to re-dip your fingers or sponge blenders into it.
Why? Because they are more easily infected with bacteria or yeast that cause acne.
How to Organize Your Makeup Products
How to know whether something is bad: If the scent, colour, or consistency changes, toss it out. You may also notice oil forming and not mixing or seeping into your skin, which is a sign that it’s no longer suitable for usage.
Though not everyone is a fan of blush, you might prefer bronzer or highlighter, it is a long-lasting beauty product that makes you look brighter and sometimes even younger.
Powder blushes have a long shelf life if they aren’t broken, however, a gel-stick or cream blush may dry up quickly with frequent use. To avoid breakouts, clean your brushes frequently, regardless of the type you use.
How to tell if it’s a bad idea: Get rid of your gel or cream blush as soon as it becomes super sticky, fully dry, changes texture, starts to smell, or any of the above.
Most women have a variety of eyeshadow palettes for various occasions, such as dinner dates, business, coffee with the girls, and so on. Fortunately, most shadows will remain faithful to you throughout all of your excursions.
Shelf life: Keeping your eye brushes tidy will ensure that your favourite colours stay for years.
How to tell if it’s a bad idea: Aside from ordinary ageing over time, the manner you use your items can decide their lifespan, just like any other product.
If you ‘double-dip,’ oils on the lids can migrate to the powder palette, affecting the colour of the product. You’ll want to throw it out at that point.
Some women don’t feel like themselves until they’ve got some colour on their lips, and if you’re one of them, you definitely have a distinctive shade. While lipstick is unlikely to survive a whole year, if stored properly, it can last up to 365 days.
If you’re using the stick every day, replace it every six to twelve months.
How to tell if it’s a bad idea to use it: It’s time to discard it when you can’t apply it further because it’s dried out, cracked, or the colour has changed.
Even if you don’t wear any other cosmetics, you almost certainly use mascara to brighten your eyes. This popular product, however, does not last as long as many of its cosmetic counterparts.
Shelf life: Mascara should only last three to six months if you use it every day (or most days).
Though you don’t need us to tell you that sunscreen should be worn every day (not only during the hottest summer days), most individuals won’t go through a large container of sunscreen rapidly. You may be able to keep your SPF for several seasons, especially if you simply apply a small coating each time.
Shelf life: Approximately two years, depending on care quality. Sunscreens have a lengthy shelf life and should last for at least two years after being opened.
Overall, believe your gut sense! Throw aside the product if it isn’t working as well as it once did. Toss it if it smells bad or has an odd texture. If something doesn’t seem right, it most likely isn’t. Don’t overcomplicate things, but keep an eye on the expiration date to keep your skin clean and healthy.