Cosmetics and skincare products, like all good things, don't last forever. In fact, the very second that you break open the seal of your recently purchased beauty loot, its expiration starts ticking. "But I've been using this tried-and-tested blush for the longest time, and its manufacturer has stopped producing this shade, so I still use this three-year-old product," said another of my makeup clients. I inspected the scratchy compact and its cracked and dry powder-based contents. "Throw it," I said. "Your skin will thank you for it."
As a general rule the drier the formula of the makeup (powder, pencils), the longer its shelf life. Conversely, the more cream- or liquid-based it is, the quicker it is to spoil. Here is the average amount of time your cosmetics should stay on your vanity table or your makeup kit:
Mascara and liquid eye liner: half a year
Creamy lipsticks, lip colors in pots, lip-gloss: 2 years
Pencils for eyes, eyebrows, and lips: 3 years
Powder-based products like loose powder, pressed powder, blusher, and eye shadow: 2 years
Liquid and cream products like cream foundation, mousse products (like primer and foundation), gel-based items like blush and eye liner, liquid liner, highlighter): 1 year
Body lotion and shower gel: 3 years
Anti-aging cream: 3 months to 1 year.
If you don't remember when you bought the beauty product, that's a pretty good indication of a purchase made long ago. To determine if your beauty goodies need to be tossed, do any (or all) of the S-tests:
1. Smell it. Does it still smell the same way it did when you first got it? If you don't remember, then at least determine if it smells good or bad. If it smells sour or has a pungent odor, bid it goodbye.
2. Scrape it. Really old powder-based products develop a fine film on its surface, making it even more dry. If this is the case, then it's time you throw it away.
3. Study its texture. If it's cracked and has a different shade than when you first bought it, or its color has changed, chuck it.
The reason you don't want to hold on to such old cosmetics is they become breeding ground for bacteria, which could make you break out, get an allergic reaction, or even get infections, especially if you use water when applying your makeup.
To avoid second-guessing your makeup shelf life, the next time you buy beauty products, follow these easy tips:
1. Write down when you bought it/started using it. Use a marker to write it down at the bottom of the item, or stick a piece of tape that has the month and year you first wore it.
2. Avoid dipping wet brushes in your powder-based makeup (a very old trick to make the makeup last longer on you). The moistness in the palette becomes very attractive to bacteria.
3. Wash your makeup brushes and sponges regularly, and dry them properly. Your skin's natural oils stick to the brush bristles, again making it ideal breeding conditions for bacteria.
4. Pick up the product with clean hands or use clean tools like makeup brushes and sponges to avoid transferring dirt and bacteria to your cosmetics.
It Really Pays to be safe than sorry. I know most of us wants to save money and all. But in the long run, you will shell out more money than buying a new make up product if your skin gets irritated and worst damaged due to negligence... I just want to share this article to you as a guide to keep our skin healthy and beautiful.