Monday, November 03, 2008

Time's Up

In the interest of being green, I am recycling an old post! I've had a few people ask me about when beauty products should be thrown out...if products have expiration dates or not. Well, let me just say that yes, you do need to be concerned with the freshness of your products. Here's what I said a few years back about the subject. I think the info still holds up today!


Ok, here's a confession: I keep beauty products forever. I don't know why, but I always feel guilty throwing out unused make-up. Consequently, my makeup kit is always littered with old products I'll never (or should never) use again. I think I still have a few tubes of discontinued lipstick lying around--eek!

If you're like me, you need to read this handy-dandy reference to help figure out when you should toss out your old cosmetics. Here are the shelf life guidelines for your favorite products:
  • Mascara: 3 to 6 months. Mascara can easily get contaminated with bacteria, so it's best to buy this staple several times a year.
  • Moisturizer: 3 months to a year. Manufacturers often include an expiration date on moisturizer, so it's best to heed their recommendations.
  • Foundation: one year. If liquid foundation starts to change color or if it takes on an "off" smell (yuck!), throw it!
  • Powder: two years. It can last longer, but it tends to dry out.
  • Eyeshadow: powered shadow can last up to three years; cream shadows only last about a year.
  • Eyeliner and lipliner: up to two years. Sharpening these products helps to discourage bacterial growth.
  • Lipstick: two years. If it dries out, it's time for a new shade!
  • Lipgloss: 18 months to 2 years.
  • Perfume: up to 2 years. To keep them lasting longer, store them in the fridge or away from direct sunlight.

For all products, be sure you don't share with your friends, use on broken or infected skin (ick!), and make sure you take good care of your brushes.

Now, go clean out your makeup kits!

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