monday, november 28, 2011
*** Lifespan of Makeup and Beauty Products - When to Toss? ***
LISA JOHNSON MAKEUP ARTIST
Nashville Makeup Artist
Every beauty product has an expiration date and some are shorter-lived than others once you pop the top. Rather than wait for your products to crust, discolor or give off a strange odor, make a point to spring (and FALL!) clean your cosmetics bag every season. This will keep you organized and remind you to weed out mascaras and liquid eyeliners that potentially contain harmful bacteria (this is especially critical if you’re a contact lens wearer) or worn-out lipsticks that have become dried out with the passage of time.
Mascara and Liquid Liner: Lifespan 3 months
A wand or wet brush can harbor all sorts of bacteria, especially if they’ve been shared with others (a no-no by all accounts, but some women still take the risk). Although formulations typically contain preservatives that are gentle enough for use near the eyes, the fact that they are continually exposed to germs gives them the shortest shelf life of all. A word to the wise: Don’t ever add water or saliva to dried-out mascara or you will introduce even more bacteria to the equation.
TIP: If you have a mascara brush you especially are fond of that is hard to toss – you can reuse if you sterilze by cleaning in hot soapy water and cleaning with alcohol – then dip into your brand new mascara tube to apply. Make sure you put the original brush back into the tube and close tightly to save product – and reclean the mascara brush and dry on paper towel daily. Toss these after a few months of use.
Foundation: Lifespan 1 to 2 years
Your foundation is only as clean as your fingers, which you are usually forced to dip into formulas that are packaged in pots or open bottles. Use a clean foundation brush or sponge to apply your makeup – after transfering to the back of your hand or a clean palette for optimum sterile use. Tubes, pumps and sprays are ideal too. It’s the “double dipping” into your products that contaminate and spread germs.
Powder Blushes and Shadows: Lifespan 2 to 3 years
These don’t harbor as many microorganisms as their liquid counterparts, but the applicators, brushes and sponges you use to apply them should be cleaned once a week with a mild shampoo. I like disposable eyeshadow applicators and qtip eyeshadow applicators you use once and toss.
Lipstick, Gloss and Liner: Lifespan 2 to 3 years
You’ll know when your most loyal lip products have gone sour—they’ll dry out, discolor and change smell or taste. You might wear out your liner before it goes bad, since sharpening it regularly helps germs from accumulating.
Nail Polish: Lifespan 1 year
Some say the trick to resuscitating old nail polish is to mix it with a little nail polish remover (one of few beauty products that lasts indefinitely) to thin it out. We say buy a new bottle and save yourself the trouble of dealing with a clumpy, separated mess.
Perfume and Body Fragrances: Lifespan 1 to 6 years
An acidic, vinegar-like smell is a sign that a scent should be tossed in the trash, unless you like smelling like salad. Spray-on formulas generally last longer because less air enters the bottle (air causes a fragrance’s composition to change).
***To get the most mileage from your investments, store them away from heat—a cool, dry place far removed from the sun is your best bet. And, of course, always recycle the containers whenever possible.
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08/02/2012 - Jamie
This is great information regarding the lifespan of your makeup! I know when to toss my makeup products now. Did not realize mascara has such short shelf life! Thank you for this.
12/03/2011 - Amanda
thank you for this list, Lisa! really helpful and it looks like I need to toss out a ton of stuff. makeup shopping!
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