Life span of beauty products: Part 1

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

LAST week, we talked about sizing down our beauty stash. If it doesn’t work for you, give it away or toss it out. As with anything in life, there’s really no point in holding on to something that isn’t good for you!

Whatever the size of your collection, remember that beauty products do have a life span. They don’t last forever, so if you have a lot of products, make sure you rotate them to get the most use out of them. If you only have a few products but don’t use them so much, use them more often. If you have just enough makeup for what you really need, then good for you!

Some products do have a small symbol of a jar with a number on it, indicating the number of months it will stay fresh (see above). You can choose to write down when you opened a certain product, or write it on the product itself using a marker. Stay guided with how long you should keep your products, and when to toss them out.


• Mascara: 6 months – Some people say you can keep mascara for one year, but with the dozens of mascara I’ve tried, they will dry out anywhere from three to six months after you open the tube. Once air gets in, and it will once you unscrew the cap, mascara should be used as soon as possible. Do not pump your mascara wand to get more product; it will only dry it out faster.

Dry mascara will just not work anymore, or worse, tiny, dry flakes could get into your eyes and irritate them. The good news is, you can still use your old mascara wands.

Wash them really well and you can still use them to brush through your brows or brush lashes after applying (new) mascara to remove clumps.

• Eyeliner: 2 years – You’ll get more shelf life out of pencil products; by sharpening them regularly, you remove the layer with bacteria on them. But gel liners dry up more quickly than that. A trick that works for me: store your gel eyeliner pots upside down so that the moisture doesn’t evaporate into the cap. For liquid eyeliners, give them about six months.

• Lipgloss: 18 months – Glosses or liquid lipstick with wand applicators may spoil more quickly than this, since you’re applying it to your lips then putting it back in the tube. Those with plastic applicators, most commonly seen with the squeeze tube packaging, are less prone to bacteria since you can wipe them off after use.

• Lipstick: 2 years – Toss it out as soon as the top part of the lipstick bullet changes in texture or if it starts smelling bad.

• Liquid Foundation, Concealer, Cream Blush, Bronzer and Eyeshadow: 1 year – Liquid and cream products tend to spoil the soonest. Toss them if they change color or if you can actually see the ingredients start to separate.

• Powder Blush and Eyeshadow: 2 years –These products will last the longest since bacteria won’t blend with powder as much as it might with liquids.

More shelf life guidelines will be coming next week, so keep posted for Part 2. Enjoy your weekend!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.


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