With a plethora of beauty products out there; one for every mood and whim conceivable, it is easy to amass a wildly overgrown selection of impulsive makeup purchases. As time goes by and your collection inevitably expands, it can become a daunting task to keep everything organized let alone pay attention to the expiration date on every makeup item you own.
Plus, how do you know when to really trust the expiration date, when the obvious goal of the makeup companies is to sell you more makeup?
As it turns out, your beauty supplies will often tell you when their time has passed. As soon as you witness any of your makeup products start to change in color, texture or smell, it is a sure sign that their ingredients are no longer working as intended and your makeup should be sentenced to the trash can grave.
Depending on the item, be it lipstick or nail-polish, the worst thing that can happen is a momentary beauty goof. A gloppy manicure or a crumbly lipstick never hurt anyone, right? Well, when it comes to items like mascara and sunscreen using products with past-prime ingredients can be much more harmful. Say goodbye to effectiveness and say hello to bacteria of the eye or worse yet imagine applying sunscreen without proper SPF protection. These situations can be quite detrimental.
Read on to determine the proper way of handling the following short-lived beauty products:
Nail polish: Unfortunately, those little colored bottles you spend so much time selecting, last only about a year. Usually around 9 months after opening the ingredients will begin to degrade and the color and consistency noticeably change. You will definitely notice when this starts to happen, the once smooth color will become sticky and tacky. Save yourself the trouble and toss the polish as soon as you spot the signs.
Mascara: It’s life-span seems to come and go way too quickly. Once a tube of mascara has been opened, on average you have about 3 months of usage. As soon as the formula starts to get clumpy or dry, the mascara has become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, if you happen to contract an eye-infection (pinkeye, etc.) discard the mascara you are using right away. Reusing the same mascara applicator can cause recurrences.
Face cream: Most creams are given about a year after opening before being deemed “expired.” This is largely due to the idea that your fingers are constantly adding bacteria to the enclosed product. I think that it is safe to assume that most people wash their hands before adding product to their face. That being said, your face cream will let you know when it’s time to get thrown away; an oily liquid may appear on the surface, the lotion may look or smell different, or it may feel different to the touch. Pay attention to these signs and if need be throw away the cream in question.
Perfume: Each time you spritz a squirt of perfume, air is being introduced into the sealed bottle. Over time (roughly 2 years), the presence of oxygen will cause the formula to oxidize and the strength of the scent will slightly diminish. However, aside from a weaker fragrance no real harm will come from using an older perfume.
Sunscreen: After about 6 months, sunscreen begins to lose it’s effectiveness. For up to a year after opening the bottle the sunscreen can still be applied provided that the ingredients have not begun to separate, change smell or color. The key is to reapply often since the SPF effectiveness stated on the bottle may have started to decrease.
The net take-away: Expiration dates on beauty products may seem somewhat arbitrary so when in doubt, trust your eyes, fingers, and nose to determine whether one of your beloved makeup products has truly expired.
By: Becky Fenlin
This “Pop-Up” post was made possible by Becky Fenlin courtesy of Cosmopolitan Skin Care.