I was cleaning out my bathroom vanity this weekend, and I came across some eye shadow that I bought when I lived in my old house. That was about five years ago. I think I was keeping it to match the shade. I certainly know that it’s not healthy for skin or eyes to wear eye shadow that’s that old. And then it occurred to me that everyone else might not know that, so I’ve made makeup shelf life the subject of this week’s makeover.
That’s right, it’s time to clean out the makeup drawers and bags! And why, you ask, should you throw away perfectly good foundation that has lasted you four years? Trust me, your skin will thank you for it. Most makeup products have preservatives which allow us to use them longer; however, this also allows more time for bacteria, fungus, and/or mold to grow on products. Ewwwww.
Which brings me to the first really good rule of thumb: If your makeup smells bad, trash it. That’s likely a sign that it has turned rancid. Ewwwww.
Another good rule of thumb, if you can’t remember when you purchased a makeup product, toss it. (And a good tip: keep a Sharpie fine point marker in the bathroom vanity and mark your purchase date on the product.)
Here are some general guidelines for makeup storage:
Cream eye shadow: 12-18 months
Powder eye shadow: 2 years
Pencil eyeliner: 2 years (sharpen regularly to prevent bacteria build up)
Liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months
Mascara: 3 months
Oil-Free or Water-based Foundation: 12 months
Cream or Compact Foundation: 18 months
Concealer: 12-18 months
Powder: 2 years
Blush and Bronzer: 2 years
Cream Blush: 12-18 months
Lip gloss: 18-24 months
Lipstick: 2 years (If you store lipstick in the refrigerator, it lasts longer.)
Lip liner: 2 years
Other necessities of life:
Nail Polish: 12 months
Cream & gel cleansers” 12 monhts
Brushes: Wash every 2-3 weeks in a mild detergent (a friend of mine uses baby shampoo)
Sponges: Wash weekly; discard monthly
Exfoliating gloves: 3 months
If you use natural makeup products, check with the store or manufacturer for storage information. Typically, natural products do not have as long a shelf life as other products.
Tips to keep your makeup “healthy”:
– Keep containers closed tight when not in use.
– Keep make-up out of the sun and heat, which can kill the bacteria-fighting ingredients. (Don’t leave your makeup bag in the car this summer!)
– Don’t use makeup if you have an eye infection, such as pinkeye, and throw away any products you were using when the infection first occurred.
– Never add liquid to a product unless the label tells you to do so. This increases the chance of bacterial infection. And don’t get me started on the incorrectness of using spit. (All together now: Ewwwww.)
Since Sephora moved into town a few years ago, I’ve begun spending more $$$ on makeup, and as an otherwise frugal sort of person, it’s hard to fight that instinct to stretch a product as far as I can. But wouldn’t it be a crying shame to work so hard to get our bodies in better shape, only to develop some godawful skin infection that could have been avoided with a little care.
As always, I hope any of this was useful. If not, I’m sorry you got this far before finding out!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!