When to throw away cosmetic products and how to keep them contaminant free

Hey everyone!

Here is wishing everyone a belated Happy Easter! I was out of town during the Easter weekend and since I was travelling friday, I was unable to post a foto friday post..my apologies! I had a really lovely time in Vermont with the husband 🙂 hope you guys had a fabulous weekend too!

Today I thought I’ll post about something important that gets overlooked by everyone even the germophobic makeup lovers! We are all guilty of hanging onto our favorite lipstick or blush for years esp those limited edition ones..or we all are guilty of  buying too many products and then using them once in a few years! We often tend to forget that like food items cosmetic products too have a life span beyond which using them increases our risk to eye and skin infections.

Here are some tips and pointers to help decide if its time to throw away that favorite lipstick you’ve been clinging onto for the past 5 years…..

  • The most obvious thing to do is to use your eyes and nose! If you see the product has separated, changed color, has some mold growth, change in smell etc its time to  chuck it into the bin.
  • We have to take special care when it comes to eye products. Its always a good idea to throw away mascara and liquid liners which are older than 6 months. These liquid products can breed bacteria over time and anything related to the eye, its always better to be safe than sorry! The mascara wand introduces bacteria into the tube after each use so its especially important to refrain from using old mascara.
  • Cream products like cream blushes, bronzers and eyeshadows have a shorter shelf life compared to their powder versions. The high moisture content of these products make them susceptible to contamination with bacteria with each use so its advisable to throw away cream products after a year of use.
  • As for lipsticks most manufacturers suggest throwing them away after 2 years. Lipsticks is one product everyone loves to keep around because we like to have multiple colors and having many of them means they wont get used up quickly and hence linger in our vanity drawers for a really long time!
  • Powder products are the safest to keep around for more than an a year. Most manufacturers suggest that they keep well for atleast 2 years.
  • Although the FDA hasn’t made it mandatory for manufacturers to put an expiry date on cosmetic products, they are expected to put out some guidelines. If you look carefully at the packaging most cosmetic and skin care products have a symbol such as the one shown below (the opened container symbol with 12M) which tells you how long  you can use the product after opening the manufacturers seal.

File:4 PAO 12M 2007-07-12.jpg

(Picture source: wikimedia commons)

In the picture above, the manufacturer recommends you use up the product within 12 months of opening it.

So the next time your clearing out your vanity drawers its a good idea to keep these points in mind :). So how do you make sure that your products don’t get spoiled before their expiry date and if you want to stretch things a bit with that favorite cream blush? Here are some tips to make sure that your cosmetic items don’t get contaminated and become a  breeding ground for bacteria…

  • Avoid sharing makeup! During my college days, I used to cringe seeing 5 girls use the same blush or lipstick with the same brush/applicator! This is the fastest way to spoil/contaminate your product and get breakouts! I also find it revolting when ladies apply tester lipsticks in stores directly onto their lips!! Sorry I just had to put it out there!! end of rant 🙂 Its especially important not to share mascara and other eye products because your putting yourself at risk of catching conjunctivitis or other serious eye infections.
  • I know alot of women who sell their used cosmetics online on ebay, on their blog. etc stating its been used only once or 2 times or whatever…steer clear of used makeup..you have no idea how old the product is and also how many times its been used and its just risky buying something that’s been used on someone elses skin!
  • Use clean makeup brushes. Makeup brushes can accumulate alot of product with constant use and thus they become an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Its a good idea to clean your brushes atleast once a week..if you want to be extra careful you can use those spray bottle brush cleaners to clean your brush before every use. This will keep your products relatively contaminant free and also help prevent acne breakouts on your skin.
  • Storage. Its important to keep your makeup away from sunlight and sharp variations in temperature. Too much heat can melt some products or cause them to separate. always store makeup in a cool dry place 🙂
  • Lastly if you like to use your finger tips to apply any product its always a good idea to sanitize your hands with a hand sanitizer before hand 🙂

These tips are useful not just to prevent contaminating your makeup, they also help prevent breakouts and skin infections. After all we all like to apply makeup for fun and to enhance our natural beauty so it shouldn’t have the opposite effect!

Until next time, ciao!!

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5 thoughts on “When to throw away cosmetic products and how to keep them contaminant free

  1. Coincidentally enough, I was planning on doing a post just like this one on my blog. Here in Brazil manufacturers are obliged to put an expiration date on the packaging, which can be really helpful, but I really suck at actually following that, because like you said, I own so much makeup that I probably won’t use up my products before they expire – hence one of the reasons why I created my blog. One thing I always do before I apply my makeup though, is wash my hands with soap and water and use a hand sanitizer.
    This was actually a very nice, thorough and fun to read post. Don’t think I could have done such a great job.

    • Thank you for your kind comments 🙂 I find it really admirable that you are on a ‘no buy’ till you finish up all the products you own..Its really hard to do that when you always have offers springing up all the time! I am also guilty of not throwing away stuff especially lipsticks since I own quite a few of them!

  2. Pingback: foto friday ! 05/02/2014 | lillynlilly

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