Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Makeup Shelf Life

photo courtesy of faq.org
Makeup isn’t made to live forever.  Yes, all makeup from skin creams to eyeshadow have a shelf life.  As a general rule, it is 3 years.  Most makeup today are not required to have an expiration date… so do your best to estimate… or, write the date of purchase onto the item itself as a guarantee.  For an in-depth guide from ivillage click here.
What happens when a product goes bad? When a product goes “off” it becomes less effective and can become contaminated leading to a nasty skin infection.
How to tell? While many items (such as eyeshadow) have no indication of having gone “off”, others display signs to be wary of, such as:
The makeup separates:  in the case of lotions/creams/foundations, oftentimes the base will settle to the bottom while the oils float to the top.
It stinks: if the makeup is smelling foul or in any way different from how it smelled when you first opened it, it’s time to toss.
Changing colors: if the foundation is starting to turn neon green, for example, just chuck it.
Now, onto a comprehensive list of what you can keep, for how long


photo courtesy of thestylegroup

MOISTURIZER: 3-12 months.
  • Keep out of sunshine, heat, or direct light!
  • Try to keep fingers from dipping and scooping (try a cotton swab or buy it in pump form)
  • Throw out as soon as it changes color, smell or consistency!

MASCARA: 3-6 months.  Nice wet cozy spot for bacteria to grow and multiply, especially when you pump the brush.
  • Don’t pump!
  • Don’t share!
  • Use one at a time!
  • Don’t use when you have an eye infection! (duh!)
  • Never add water or… ew… saliva to the tube! (double duh)

photo courtesy of nadinejolie
FOUNDATION:  oil-free type 12 months, cream or compact foundation-18 months.
  • Refridgerate or keep in a cool dark place.
  • Clean makeup applicators once a week (sponges)
  • Don’t apply on broken skin
  • Choose pump dispenser if available.
  • Toss when colors separate, smells funky, or colors change.

photo courtesy of makeupbag.net
POWDER: pressed powder- 2 years, loose powder-3 years
  • if kept longer than 2-3 years powder will dry out, becoming more difficult to apply and appear more chaulky.

BLUSH: powder blush 2 years, cream blush 12-18 months.
  • dry blush can get “slippery” texture if expired
  • color can change after expiration
  • wash brushes once week
  • apply cream blush with “clean” fingers!

EYE SHADOW:  Powder shadow 2 years, cream shadow 12-18 months.
  • Use clean brushes.
  • Use clean fingers if you like it like that.
  • Never use if you have an eye infection (can transmit bacteria back into the shadow!)
  • Continuing to sharpen the pencils cleans the surface of bacteria.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and heat
  • Never share!
  • Don’t use if you have cold sores or eye infections!

photo courtesy of layoutfashion
LIPSTICK: 18 months to 2 years.  They tend to last due to the formulation of pigment to fats.
  • Don’t share!
  • Don’t use if you have a cold sore!
  • If the lipstick feels dry, scratchy or changes color… toss it!

PERFUMES: 2 years.  Fragrances have a higher shelf life because it’s literally “preserved” in alcohol.
  • Store in moderate temperature (fridge keeps best)
  • Don’t use if it changes in smell or color.
  • Be wary of allergies!
Be careful also of Natural or Organic makeup, as they don’t have many of the preservatives their chemical sisters have in abundance and can go “off” much sooner!  Even though they are more healthy and beneficial for our skincare as they are made of natural ingredients.  There is always a catch….  isn’t there??

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