Makeup, perfume, and other beauty products don’t come cheap – especially if you like to buy quality – so we understand why you might want to use up every last drip, drop, or dab. However, using old beauty products can cause all sorts of health problems as the chemicals in them break down and have unwanted effects on your skin, eyes, mouth, and more! The amount of time each product should last depends on what it is – with makeup sponges needing changing every month, while perfume can last years!
Experts have created a hard and fast guide to when you should be replacing different beauty products – from those that need swapping soonest, to ones which you can hold on to for much longer!
- Makeup Sponges
These can quickly become little micro-climates harboring all sorts of nasty bacteria which can lead to breakouts and other unwanted results. You should wash your sponges with cleanser after each use and replace them every month. Also, if you notice discoloration or deformities in the sponge it is time to start looking for a new one.
Mascara tends to have a shelf-life of four to six months, but once you open it, you need to throw it away after three months. Bacteria build-up can cause eye infections and irritation. Also, if your mascara is dried out, changed texture, color, or smells different, it is time to throw it out. Experts say that you should avoid ‘pumping’ the mascara, but instead swirl the brush in a circular motion to stop air being pushed in. Air bubbles in the tube can allow bacteria to grow as well as drying out your expensive mascara!
- Creams (including blushes and eye shadows)
Creamy beauty products should only be kept for around six months as the moist nature of them make great environments for bacteria. Look out for mould or the cream separating and be sure to throw them away if they start to smell funny.
Six To Twelve Months:
Foundation can last different times, depending on what it is made from. Creamy products (as mentioned above) will only last around 6 months, while liquids should be fine for between six months and a year. As you might expect, this is because they contain moisturising agents that may be good for your skin, but can also act as a bacteria playground. Solid foundations will last longer – maybe as long as 2 years – so it is best to check the label on any foundation you buy. Keeping your makeup brushes and tools clean will help, as will only applying foundation with clean hands.
Liquid eyeliner (like mascara above) will only last up to six months if unopened and should ideally be replaced after three months of use. However, pencil eyeliners should be able to last much longer – so long as you keep the cap tightly closed. These can last as long as two years if looked after. However, if you get an eye infection you’ll need to replace all your eyeliners to lower the risk of reinfection.
Try to keep air out of your lipgloss in order for it to last as long as possible (so don’t ‘pump’ the brush in the tube). However, if you look after it, you should get a year’s worth from your lipgloss. That said, if you notice it changing color or texture you may be best to get a new one.
- Nail polish
Once opened, nail polish will start to evaporate, separate, and thicken. Keeping the lid on tight will help slow this down, but ultimately, you need to accept that nail polish won’t last forever. Check the dates and stick to them.
The last thing you want is for your concealer to make your skin worse, so be sure to replace it if it dries up, smells different, changes texture, or gets lumpy. To be honest, we think you would probably already know that – but a little reminder now and then doesn’t hurt!
18 Months to 2 Years:
- Powders (including blusher, bronzer, and eye shadows)
If your powders have hardened, have become difficult to apply, or smell odd then it is time to let them go. However, most powder beauty products should last up to 2 years. In fact, if you look after them by keeping the lids on to keep the air out and give them a clean now and again, they can last much longer…
Keep the lids on your lipstick and wipe them now and again to remove any bacteria growing on the end of them and they could last you for two years. As ever, if you notice them changing in texture, color, or smell, you’ll definitely want to throw them out!
8-10 Years (Or More!):
Most fragrances will offer a shelf life of between 8 and 10 years, but you can make them last much longer than that if you look after them properly. Your perfumes will lose their scent if they are exposed to too much heat, light, or air. Keep the lids on and store them in a dark closet. Some say that it is best to keep them in their boxes between use too! Either way, check to see if the fragrance has changed color as this is a good clue that time’s up.
Why not start a makeup and beauty product diary or calendar, so that you know when you need to replace or check certain items? That way you can make sure you always look and smell good, without risking any potentially nasty side-effects!