When the spring season rolls around, we all look forward to breathing in the freshness of the general outdoors. However, as we start to open up windows and air out the rugs, we realize that it might be time for that annual event we are all so fond of – a nice spring clean. But did you know that your makeup bag could be just as much of a culprit as the area behind the fridge?
To protect you from products that should be tossed, we’ve compiled a list of the following general tips for our cosmetics and skin care products. Please note: although we’ve compiled this list to be specific to Real Purity products, they are guidelines that could be applied to cosmetic and skin care products from any company.
Expiration guidelines for makeup
Mascara: Three to six months
Mascara is one of the most volatile products in any beauty kit. If mascara smells or changes texture, throw it out. To avoid a bacterial invasion, refrain from pumping the wand to pick up more color — this only forces air into the tube and dries out the mascara. For a better way to evenly coat the wand, swipe it in a circular motion slowly around the inside of the tube.
Eye shadow: Six months (cream) to two years (powder)
Although eye shadow tends to last longer than other types of makeup, you should still watch for signs of wear. Toss eye shadow when pigments change or if you notice waxy buildup. To maximize eye shadow life, invest in fewer colors and buy smaller sizes. Also, if you add water to powder shadow for darker, more intense color, don’t keep it longer than six months.
Thinking you should replenish some of the cosmetics that might have spoiled after a thorough spring clean? Shop now and take 10% off any size cart order through the end of April. Use code REPLENISHMENT10 at checkout.
Foundation: Six to 12 months
Whether water-based or oil-based, foundation can also become a breeding ground for bacteria. With age and exposure to light or heat, the consistency and texture of foundation degrade. Foundation may also develop a foul smell or become discolored over time. These are definite signs that it’s time to ditch your foundation.
Concealer: Six to 12 months
Often formulated with oil or hydrating agents such as jojoba oil or shea butter, concealers usually have a smooth, creamy texture for easy blending. Watch for signs of texture change: If concealer separates, dries out, is cakey or smells of mildew, pitch it.
Powder: Six months to two years
It can be tough to tell when to pitch your powder. It generally won’t smell or change color or texture like cream, but powder can go bad. Even though powders are dry and bacteria can’t thrive without water, some formulas have trace amounts of water or hydrators, like aloe, jojoba oil or shea butter.
And you can unknowingly transfer bacteria from your face to your powder with a powder brush. To minimize this risk, wash powder brushes regularly with an antibacterial brush cleaner. Toss the powder if it changes texture and becomes grainy and hard to blend, or crumbles easily.
Lipstick: Twelve to Fifteen months
Although lipstick can last quite a while, remember that it contains water, moisturizers and hydrators and is easily infiltrated by bacteria. Also, it can eventually dry out and become difficult to apply. Toss lipstick when it becomes dry, waxy or smells different — rancid lipstick often starts to smell like crayons.
Expiration guidelines for skincare
Cleanser: One year
Be aware that certain active ingredients might become more potent if stored for long periods of time, potentially causing an allergic reaction.
Serum: Six to 12 months
Serums are vulnerable to air, heat and light. If possible, opt for a serum in a pump bottle, which will maintain the integrity of the product longer than a jar. Also, many serums contain unstable ingredients to combat fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C, for instance, can spoil quickly when exposed to air. Once oxidized, vitamin C (and all) serums will darken or yellow, and might even smell rancid — clear indicators that it’s time to toss.
Moisturizer: One year
Moisturizer will last longest in a tube or bottle with a pump dispenser as opposed to a jar. Pay attention to expiration dates; using an expired moisturizer over time can give you a rash or infection, especially if your moisturizer contains alpha hydroxy acids. Finally, no matter how much time has passed, toss your moisturizer if you notice a change in consistency or smell.
Sunscreen: One year
While many of us use sunscreen year-round, summer is undoubtedly when most of us buy and use this vital product. For some people, three months is enough time to use an entire bottle, while others tend to keep old sunscreen well past the season.
Like all creams, sunscreen is susceptible to oxidation. Exposing the cream to air causes water to evaporate and the product to break down, which can ultimately make the formula unstable and ineffective. Store sunscreen in a dark, cool place, and when on the beach, replace the cap and avoid leaving the sunscreen in direct sunlight.
The bottom line
Above all, remember that these are general guidelines, not set rules. We can’t underscore this enough: Any change in the smell, color or consistency of your products likely means it’s time to toss. Although it’s tempting to keep favorite products for years, you may be doing your skin more harm than good. Spoiled skincare and beauty products can cause irritation, allergic reactions and even infection. Maintaining healthy skin means updating your products on a regular basis.
Want to refill some of the skin care items that may have gone bad in your cabinet? Shop now and take 10% off any size cart order through the end of April. Use code REPLENISHMENT10 at checkout.