Just as you purge your closets with the changing seasons, you should also be doing the same to your makeup bags. Many of our clients hang on to their favorite lipstick for many years past its prime, and they’re shocked when we tell them that lipsticks should really be thrown out after a year (yes, even your favorite lipstick that’s been discontinued forever—sorry!). But, why do you need to trash your prized makeup possessions? There are two simple reasons – shelf-life and bacteria.
Let’s tackle shelf-life first. Most unopened beauty products
have a three-year shelf-life, but once they’re exposed to air their time is limited. Every cosmetic product should have a small graphic on it of an open container with a number inside, this symbol represents the product’s shelf-life once it’s opened. Once the shelf-life has expired, the product starts to break down and not perform as it once did—the goal is to replace the product before it gets to that point.
One way to keep an eye on how long you’ve had a product is to write the “open date” on it with a sharpie. If you’re the type of person who likes to stock up on a product so you always have it when you need it, just write the “purchase date” on the box with a sharpie, and then add the “open date” when you go to use it. This way, you’ll always know when it’s time to replace.
Now let’s get to the scary one – bacteria. Even if you’re the only person who has ever touched or used the product, bacteria can still grow on your makeup products. The moisture from your mouth, nose, and eyes that regularly touch your makeup products causes bacterial growth over time. These bacteria pose a potential threat, sometimes leading to skin infections, illness, breakouts, and other issues that should be avoided. For these reasons, certain products should really be trashed just shy of their shelf-life expiration.
So how do you know when you’re supposed to trash your makeup? We’ve got you! We created a little cheat sheet to help you know when to toss each type of product to avoid bacterial growth.