No matter how much you love your current foundation, it has an expiration date. And once you open it, the clock starts ticking. It’s true for drugstore makeup as well as the high-end stuff.
Make-up items can be breeding grounds for bacteria if not used correctly or stored properly. You may think you’re well within the bounds of safety using your mascara for a couple of months past its expiration date, but just think about how many times you pump that wand in and out of the tube. Each time you do so, bacteria is being pushed into the tube. The same goes for your eyeliner pencils, which should be sharpened after each use as well as replaced every few months.
In addition to replacing your makeup regularly, it’s also important to store your beauty products in a temperature-controlled environment free of moisture and heat. That means keeping them away from sunlight (whether in your bathroom or out) and away from heat vents too.
When using cream or lotion products make sure to use a clean applicator every time and stay away from double-dipping. It’s also important to understand sharing your products will do more harm than good – for example sharing your mascara or eyeliner can lead to an eye infection.
Here are some general guidelines for when to toss different types of products:
- Primer: 1 year
- Foundation: 1 year
- Concealer: 6 months to 1 year
- Cream blush: 1 year
- Powder blush: 2 years
- Eyebrow pencil: 1 year
- Eyeshadow: 1 year
- Eyeliner: 3 months
- Mascara 3 months (or if it gets clumpy before that)
- Lipstick: up to 2 years
- Bronzer: 1 year
- Setting powder: 2 years
- Setting spray: 1 year
If you are dealing with a skin reaction or acne problems, your products might have something to do with it. A lot of times, we just assume it’s hormonal or stress-related and don’t think twice about what we’re putting on our face. If the reaction is severe, you may want to see your doctor who can prescribe steroids or an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl for relief. Just avoid using any other products on your face until the reaction has subsided.
Check out our article on why you should never sleep with makeup on.