How to know when it’s time to replace old beauty products

From the first day she applies new
lipstick or inaugurates a new bottle of facial cleanser, every woman is headed
toward the same dilemma. How long will that lipstick tube last? Does the razor
you used twice and then forgot about for a couple months have some life left?
When is cleanser too old to be effective?

Many of us are unsure when beauty
products expire – or even if they do at all. Consequently, we may wind up
holding on to partial bottles and remnants of products because we’re not sure
of their usefulness. The arrival of warm weather is a great time to purge.

Cleaning out old beauty products
can be emotionally cathartic, and spare you from using expired items that may
potentially irritate your skin or that just don’t work anymore. Plus, tossing
the old opens up opportunities for discovering great new cosmetics, beauty
items and skin care products. Here’s some advice to get you started:

Cosmetics

Because cosmetic products are used
on some very germ-laden areas of our bodies, like around the eyes, nose and
mouth, they can breed bacteria. Therefore, they don’t have an indefinite
shelf-life. The usable life of some common cosmetics are:

 Mascara and liquid eyeliner – three months

Cream eye shadows — three to four
months

Powder shadows — six months if you
don’t reuse the applicator; three to four when reusing applicators

Liquid, cream or powder foundation
– one year if regularly applied with a new sponge or puff; six months if
applied with fingertips.

Cream and gel blush — six months.
Powder blushes – about a year

Once you’ve purged old cosmetics
you’ll be ready to restock with some of the season’s hottest new colours and
products.

Skin care products

Skin care products can also be susceptible
to bacteria growth over time, so if you don’t finish a product within a few
months, keep an eye on how long you’ve had it. Discard products like
moisturizers, concealers and toners that contain skin nutrients like vitamin C
or alpha hydroxy acids after they’ve been open for about 12 months. Those
active ingredients can lose their effectiveness after a year.

Exposure to moisture, air, direct
sunlight and extreme temperatures can all affect the ingredients in skin care
products, so store them in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight. And if a
product separates or smells differently than it did when you first opened it,
discard it right away.

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