How old is that lipstick??

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 | Things We Love, Tips & How-Tos, Uncategorized

My husband and I moved this weekend. All last week I have been packing stuff at night and Shutterstock_906631 hauling it to work, and I drive straight to our new home after quitting time to unload and unpack. It’s been quite a week! Although moving is a pain, I do enjoy sorting out my belongings, throwing away the old and donating items that I haven’t used in years.

I didn’t touch my vanity until the very end because I knew that I, like many women, kept too many cosmetics for far too long. You know you do it, too. There are certain colors and products we wear every day, Shutterstock_712743 and we use all of it quickly. Then there are those shades and pieces that we don’t use often but keep for special occasions, to wear with certain outfits or to have “just in case.” We all know it’s a beauty no-no, but how can we know when it is time to trash the stash?

After the first use, there is a period after opening in which a product is safest and most effective. Makeup does not get better with age. The FDA says that expiration dates on cosmetics are a rule of thumb, and depending on how your make-up is stored, it could last longer or go bad sooner. Makeup exposed to moisture and/or high temperatures is more likely to harvest bacteria. (Yuck!) If any of your cosmetics start to change color or consistency, you really ought to toss it and buy a new one. Otherwise, here are a few guidelines: Mascara_TripleAction2

Mascara needs to be disposed-of after three months. If your mascara dries-out, do not add water, especially not saliva. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria!

Powders, pressed or loose, are anhydrous (water free), so they can stay good for a couple years.

Cleansers and Moisturizers have properties that can go bad over time, so don’t keep them for longer than six months.

Multi-use Products that come in contact with lips, eyes and cheeks can spread germs, so replace them after around three months.

Pencils can last for at least two years, so long as you do not wet the tip.

Lipstick is generally good for at least two years. BrushCollection

Brushes should be washed regularly, and if properly cared for, they can last for many years.

So, don’t be a cosmetics hoarder – follow the safety guidelines to keep your products in good shape.