More or less, we know how hard it is to find that perfect shade of lipstick or that miraculous foundation that glides on smoothly and makes skin look divine. When the perfect shade goes out of production, chances are we will try to prolong the lifespan of our favorites. Using them sparingly for special occasions might be an ideal way to make them live as long as your pet fish, but there will always come a time when we have to say goodbye.
Makeup and other beauty products, like canned food, have an expiration date. Expired products can cause irritation, blemishes and infections when used beyond their expiration date. The reason for this is two-fold: bacteria and chemical change.
To prevent blemishes, irritations and infections from developing, it is best to know when to stop using your favorites. Here’s how.
Water-based foundations are at risk of becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Unopened and sealed water-based foundations can last for a few years. Otherwise, it is wiser to replace them after 6 months to a year. High temperatures and moist environments trigger the growth of bacteria that speed up the spoiling process. Once a foul smell or a change in color occurs, you will know that it’s time to go shopping for a new one.
The best way to know when to toss your concealer is when the color has already changed. Old concealers also cause breakouts. Those in stick and powder forms tend to last longer, up to two years, but liquid concealers should be disposed of after one.
There are some face powders that contain a relatively minuscule amount of water from the botanical extracts they are made of. There is still a small risk that bacteria may grow on it when it is placed in moist warm areas. When they are outside these kinds of areas, they will last for up to two years, assuming you don’t run out of it before then. Just make sure you clean whatever you use to apply face powders because they can transfer bacteria from your face to the product.
Treat your blush like you would treat your face powder. Both contain minimal amounts of botanical extracts and water. In addition, make sure your face is dry before applying powder-based product so that you won’t transfer bacteria, oils, or water from your face.
Cream-based shadows grow bacteria more quickly than powders. Make sure that your fingers are dry and clean when applying. Powder eye shadows constantly come into contact with a mucous membrane, so there are more chances of bacteria transferring to the product and then to the eyes. No matter how pretty they look, they will only last up to about three months before they smell ugly.
Liquid and pencil eyeliners should be replaced every three months. They are similar to eye shadows in the way that they come into contact with a mucous membrane. Pencils can last longer as than liquid eyeliners when sharpened regularly. When a hard white film starts to develop, do your eyes a favor and toss them.
Mascaras should be replaced every two to three months. They come into close contact with your eyes, so be very careful when applying them. The repetitive act of coating your eyelashes and putting the brush back in the tube might become a source of bacterial growth which may cause conjunctivitis, sties, or even itchiness.
Lipstick and Lip Gloss
Lipsticks and lip glosses can last for as long as two years since it doesn’t contain any water. However, they are applied on the lips which make them slightly prone to a recurring cold. This is why you should consider purchasing new ones after you’ve been really ill. A really old lipstick will be difficult to apply. It gets hard and cakey while lip glosses will be a little streaky and globby.
Nail polish has a very low chance of going stale and giving you infections. The only thing it can do is dry out and change color. Once the pigments start to settle, try giving it a shake. If the pigments still separate, it’s time to get a new one.
Makeup Brushes and other Applicators
Brushes and applicators will last you a good number of years when properly cared for. Store brushes upright to air them out and prevent deformation. Wipe them on a dry paper towel or washcloth after every use to remove pigment and other powders that might mix with your makeup. Clean them every two weeks and their pristine condition will reciprocate the love and care you have given them.
Makeup sponges are a different story. Cheap ones should be replaced after the sides have been used. High-quality ones that come with a cleanser will last you a little longer. Old and porous sponges will absorb makeup and bacteria. You will run the risk of a breakout, so toss them and get a new one.