Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When To Throw Away Your Makeup

As a bona fide beauty junkie, The Makeup Examiner has struggled with this very question. At one point, I had an entire linen closet filled with every conceivable beauty product one can think of. But, an extreme eye infection cured The Makeup Examiner of her need to hang onto cosmetics past their “expiration” date. Admittedly it was painful to dispose of seven trash bags full of my coveted cache, but far less painful than the six months I spent visiting an ophthalmologist twice per week.

The bottom line is that cosmetics are developed to last about a year. However, since makeup comes in contact with germ-prone areas like your eyes, mouth and fingers, contamination can occur at any time. First rule of disposal … if a product has changed color or consistency or has a bad odor, throw it away!

Here are The Makeup Examiner’s general guidelines to cosmetic shelf life:

Foundations and Concealers can last up to a year if you keep your fingers away from the bottle. Opt to use a makeup brush or sponge for application.

Finishing Powders usually have a 2-year shelf life. So that compact that you’ve been carrying in your purse for “touch-ups” may need to go. The same rule applies to powder Blush.

Pencil Eyeliner and Lip Liner can last several years, but you need to sharpen them before each use, especially lip liner since it comes into contact with your mouth.
Lipstick and Lip Gloss can last up to a year, but always throw away any lip product if you’ve been sick. This includes lip balm.

Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner should be thrown out after three months. The tubes for these products are a breeding ground for bacteria. And never “pump” your mascara wand into the tube!

Eyeshadow, despite the fact that it’s usually made of a similar formulation to other powders, eyeshadow is constantly in contact with your eye area and therefore giving to a greater risk of transferring bacteria back and forth, so dispose of eyeshadow after three months.

Cleansers and Moisturizers often contain fatty acids, which can turn rancid. Dispose of them after six months.

Nail Polish is probably the one beauty product that won’t necessarily go bad due to bacteria, but nail polish will eventually go bad. If you see a separation of lacquer and pigment, it’s time to say bye-bye.

As a general rule, for contamination prevention and better overall cosmetic application use a sponge or makeup brush to apply your cosmetics. And regarding the tools that you use, cleanse dry product makeup brushes once per week, wet product makeup brushes after each use, and invest in disposable makeup sponges. 

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