I think this is an area that very few of us think about while we’re having fun experimenting with our piles of make-up and cosmetics, but everyone should be aware that make-up does expire and go off!Yes, that’s right, whether you spend £1.99 or £39.99 on a cosmetic product, they all have shelf lives and they will go off eventually.Now it may not be as quick as the pint of milk in your fridge, but knowing about the expiration dates on your products is just as important for your health.
Due to the rising awareness of what goes into our foods and the way they are processed, each item of food that you buy has the ‘Use By’ date clearly printed on the front and even in the case of where you can’t see this date, you would easily go by the smell.So why is it that while we’re so cautious about the dates for what we put in our mouths, we don’t think twice about storing a lipstick for 3 years and then putting it on again?
According to a study only 28% of British women (1 in 4) will throw their make-up, shower gel or shampoo away if it starts to smell strange or change colour.Apart from these products not being able to perform to their best possible standards, these products can harbour bacteria and germs that could be hazardous to our health.
I always try to be cautious when it comes to my make up kit, especially when I work on brides or models, as it is not just my health I would affect but theirs too.This is why I think it is important that all my readers and anyone as make-up obsessed as I am are aware of this.
I started looking into this in more detail as I am helping my boyfriend to develop a new make up kit app for the iPhone.One that allows you to create an inventory of all the products in your kit, with special fields where you can note down where you bought your products, and many more great features that I wont spoil right now! But upon doing some research for the app in more detail I found some very interesting articles and so had to share the knowledge.
Products such as lipsticks, mascara’s and eye pencils are perfect breeding grounds for germs and bacteria.Now I’m not saying that exactly 3 months to the day you have to throw out your expensive Dior mascara, but you should use the 3 month period as a guide and be aware that keeping your products for longer than is advised may lead to an infection.
One of the biggest tools you have at your disposal to help you tell whether your products are fresh and OK to use, is your nose!That’s right, the best way to tell if a product shouldn’t be used any more is to give it a sniff and see if the smell has changed.Now, I can hear most of you saying, but “I don’t have the urge to smell my mascara as soon as I open it, so how do I know if it’s gone off?” The trick I was taught by a fellow make up artist was to smell the mascara wand, and if you feel a tingle at the top of your nose (around where the nasal bone joins the cartilage) then you mascara has gone off.I have tried this and it does work, but please be aware this is not 100% effective as I have had that tingle from some newly bought mascara’s.But if you have any in your bag that you know you have had for a while, give it a sniff and feel the tingle!!
So here’s a guide of expiration lead times for you:
Moisturiser & Cleanser – 12-18 months
Primer – 12-18 months
Concealer – 12 – 18 months
Oil free foundation – 12 months
Cream or Compact foundation – 18 months
Powder – 24 months
Blusher & Bronzer - 24 months
Eyeliner – 24 months
Liquid Eyeliner – 3-6 months
Mascara – 3 months
Lipstick – 24 months
Lip liner – 24 months
Lip Gloss – 18 – 24 months
Nail Colour – 12 months
Make up sponges – replace or clean weekly
Make up Brushes – clean weekly
Fragrance – 2-5 years
Please remember that these are only guides, and you should check your products regularly to make sure they still look and smell like normal.
There are also some other actions you can take to help ensure your products are fresh and safe for as long as possible:
-Keep cosmetic products away from heat and light sources.The warmth may help bacteria and germs to grow.
-Refrigerate, some products can work well while being cold so keeping them refrigerated could help slow the risk of bacteria.
-Wash your brushes weekly, this will reduce the risk of infection and cross-contamination of your products and colours.
-Replace your sponges and applicators weekly or when they become spoiled.
-Don’t use products when you have an infection as the bacteria can be spread through your products after the infection has cleared up.
Hope this helps you lovely people, and if you have any questions feel free to ask!!