When is Your Beauty Product Past it?
One of the most important pieces of knowledge you should have, is how often you should change, throw or replace your beauty products. We will use up most of our products if we use them regularly enough before they should be replaced, but some products can lose their impact or even become dangerous to us if used past their recommended date.
Unfortunately your mascara doesn’t always come with a handy best before date like your carton of milk, so follow our useful guide below, to get the best out of your products and keep you safe from any potential beauty harm.
The Shelf Life of your Products:
- Makeup Sponges – an obvious one really think of how often you put make up on, and how the sponge goes from skin to product. A sponge doesn’t have the longevity of a brush. Washing them regularly helps but, you should replace them with a new one every month.
2 to 3 Months
- Mascara – many mascara’s will dry up after 2 months and therefore stop working. Many mascaras now have natural ingredients in that can ‘go off’. You also have to think of the natural bacteria that builds up around your eyes, and how that will go in and out of your mascara tube. The health of your eyes is very important – this is a replacement date that is very important to stick to.
- Face Peels and Masks – Once opened the natural ingredients and enzymes that react with your skin in peels and masks, will start to become inactive and even carry bacteria. 3 months is the max time you should use an opened one for.
- Nail File – this is more of a case than anything that the file will be blunt and simply won’t do its job. However the cushion of the file will also start to hold and spread dirt after time.
6 to 12 Months
- Eyeliner – Again, it’s all about keeping the eyes happy and healthy. Liquid and gels have a strict 6 month replacement date. Pencils have a longer usage; between 9-12 months you should be throwing them out, even if you haven’t finished I’m afraid.
- Eye Cream – The same principles as your other eye products. It such a sensitive area that we must look after and avoid any infections or bacteria build up near them. Throw or replace yours when it reaches 6 months. TIP – generally eye creams are sold in smaller volumes as we use them less, if you use it everyday a 15ml product should last you around 3 months so perfectly within a safe time.
- Liquid Foundation and Concealers – Most women will use a foundation within a year, but if you do go over the 6 month mark then be careful as they are susceptible to dying out and bacteria. You can help to lengthen their life to a year max by using brushes and sponges, do not apply with your fingers! Pump and squeezey bottles help your foundation stay cleaner (less bacteria) if you have an open bottle, then make sure you fasten it tightly to stop any bad bacteria getting in. Your concealer generally lasts longer, but after 9 months, it will be very dry and will dry out area’s it is applied to. Treat yourself to a nice new one.
- Acne/Blemish Products – 9 months is your replacement time. If you have blemish prone skin and use products that are formulated to tackle your issues, the various ingredients used in the products will become less effective and even stop working as a catalyst. TIP – You should mix up your routine and products every 6 months if your blemishes, spots or acne don’t improve anyway, chances are the product isn’t working with your skin if you don’t see any improvements within 12 weeks using a product.
- Face Cleansers – It’s unlikely a regularly used face wash will last up to a year, but if you reach 12 months with the same one, then it’s cleansing qualities will be almost void.
- Lipstick – Your favourite shades you use more regularly will last you 6-9 months, but the ones you wear on the odd or special occasion can be in your makeup tool kit for a while. However after a year the preservatives that are in your lipstick will breakdown. They will start to dry out and the colour will crack, little beads also appear on the tip. Replace your lipsticks every 12 months. TIP – applying with a brush does help to stop bacteria spreading on your lipstick.
- Nail Varnish – Chances are you have a staple colour, and ones that you wear every now and then, so often a whole bottle will be more than you can use in a year. You should be replacing your polishes every year, as their chemicals deteriorate, they can become dry or gloopy. Buying smaller sizes in your more unusual and less used colours will mean you get the best colour within the 12 month time frame. Go for a 9ml or 5ml polish. TIP – if your polish starts to clump or dry add add a drop of nail polish remover to it to give it a new lease of life.
- Creme Makeup – creme blushes and eye shadows should be replaced after 12 months, they will be incredibly dry a year after opening and application will become harder and the products will appear dry and cakey on the skin.
Over a Year
- Sunscreen – Most sun creams have a clearly marked use by date, which is very helpful. As a rule from time of purchase they should last up to a year, some can last up to 3 years. I suggest if your sun cream lasts more than a season, or over a couple of holidays – check them. It’s best to use newer ones so the SPF is still active, its effectiveness can slowly decrease, for high SPF’s it’s safer to replace every year. Regulations on sunscreen are increasing, so it’s easier to know when you should replace it.
- Makeup Brushes – Your brushes will last longer if they are better quality, FACT, so invest in good ones. You will need to replace a foundation brush more regularly at least once a year, but many people have theirs for around 18 months. To help your foundation brush last and for it to give you the best results; keep it clean. Depending on how much foundation you use, washing your foundation brush should be a weekly job, if not more often. TIP – use a gentle shampoo or specific brush cleaning solution, let them dry naturally (overnight is best), once dry, massage in a very tiny bit of a mild oil if the brush needs softening after. A bronzer or blusher brush will last between 1-2 years. Other applicator brushes, will have a similar lifespan. When you notice a loss of bristles or clogging of products on them, it’s time to replace them. Storing brushes in a protective case is the best way to preserve them.
- Makeup Powders – Bronze, blushes and eyeshadow powders can last up to 2 years, some even longer. Keeping them away from liquid is the key. The pressed powder formula is less prone to contamination, so they remain kind to your skin. After so long their performance can dip and the colour pigments don’t look as vibrant as they use to.
- Shampoo & Conditioners – The preservative qualities in a shampoo and conditioner mean they will be still effective over a year over purchase. If you reach 18 months – 2 years, then it’s time to freshen your supply. However most women go through a regular size shampoo bottle within a month or so, so chances our you are getting the optimum out of them anyway.
- Hairspray – Again a hairspray is highly preserved as it has a more chemical formula, after 2 years you should definitely replace your hairspray. Most hairsprays become ineffective because of the mechanism in the spray going rather than the quality of the actual product. TIP – a sign of quality in a good spray product is a ball bearing, or marble. They use to be very common, but now it’s an indication of a traditional touch of class that actually does help, you shake and hear it move which mixes up the formulation inside, so you get better quality in every spritz.
- Perfume – A perfume can last up to 2 years. It is well contained in it’s packaging so isn’t easily contaminated. Keep it out of sunlight and avoid humidity, these elements will affect the notes and accents in the scent.
- With every season the needs of our skin varies. Review your most used products at the beginning of the season or when you use them for the first time in a while.
- You know what your product did and looked liked on it’s first few uses, when you see it change, it is time for you to change ‘it’.
- Consider the amount of time you will be using a product at the time of purchase, i.e select the smaller size face scrub if you are only using it occasionally compared to a face cream you will use daily.
- Think of your face, body, and eyes in the same way you would your stomach. You wouldn’t eat gone off food, so why would you use gone off products.