Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of holding onto our beauty products for far longer than we should. I know the little legend at the bottom of the bottle tells me to throw it out after six months, but seriously, it cost me half a week’s rent, so why should I bother replacing it when there’s still some left?
And, okay, I may also have a slight beauty product hoarding issue. I can’t actually count on both hands the amount of scented body lotions I still own that date back to the nineties. Although I rarely use them, I’ve convinced myself I might need them in the future, like, if strawberry glitter body gel ever takes off again.
But after speaking to Dr Dawes-Higgs, of Northern Sydney Dermatology, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology and women’s skin health, it seems my out-of-date product habit could be doing more harm than just cluttering up my bathroom cabinet.
“Old makeup can contain bacteria. If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition such as dermatitis then you could get an infection from your products.”
On that note, I’m about to run out and say goodbye to some of my beloved but seriously archaic beauty products. And just incase you are also harboring an ageing beauty stash of your own, here’s what you need to part ways with…
1. Old moisturizer, sunscreen and body lotion
Since the consistency of lotions change over time, they won’t be as effective as they once were after passing their expiry date, particularly if a watery liquid comes out beforehand or the formula has a clumpy, cottage cheese-like texture. While these products often claim to ‘prep’ the skin for a day of makeup, it’s important to remember they’re actually likely to negatively effect your makeup’s look and staying power if they’re older, and thus prone to turning oily.
“To prepare skin properly you should apply a sunscreen that contains a moisturizer, then apply the makeup over the top. I personally like to use a niacinamide serum under my sunscreen as this has been shown to have anti-flammatory and rejuvenation properties,” says Dr Dawes-Higgs.
2. Cheap perfume
Candy colored bottles that have well passed their used-by-date will make you smell cheap, so it’s worth investing money in perfumes that suit you and will last longer than a few months after being opened. If you’re only keeping it because the bottle looks pretty then get rid of it immediately (unless its Victoria’s Secret Bombshell which you can reuse as a insect repellent).
3. Unmatched foundation
Although that foundation matched your skin when you had an amazing tan, now that it’s Winter, you need to accept your skin will be a lot lighter. If it’s passed its expiry date, which is normally no longer than 18 months, then let it go and invest in some foundation that will give you a great price-by-wear ratio. According to Dr Dawes-Higgs, it’s important not to go OTT when prepping your skin with foundation in order to avoid clogging up the pores.
“If you only need a light coverage, then a BB cream with a tint can be used instead of makeup.”
4. Sparkly lip gloss
Lets be honest, we all have a lip gloss sitting down in the deep dark corners of our handbag that hasn’t been used in years because we know it makes us look a little like a Spice Girls wannabe. So why do we keep it? Just in case. But here’s the thing: lip gloss only lasts for 18 to 24 months, so that glitter gloss you got in the 8th grade but can’t bring yourself to part ways with? It needs to find a new home in the deep dark corners of a bin.
5. Clumping mascara
Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all beauty products, with the average being just three months, so once it starts clumping, you should throw it in the bin and never look back, since there’s no way you’ll be able to achieve lashes like Kylie Jenner’s with a dried out mascara. If you want to make your dear mascara last longer, be sure to always tighten the lid after use and avoid getting any foreign substances in the tube.
6. Goopy nail polish
You can always tell when an old bottle of polish has made its way onto someone’s fingers. It is normally clumpy and doesn’t apply evenly, leaving your digits looking patchy. If you want to give your nail polish extra life, be sure to keep it away from sunlight as just like milk it can go ‘off’ in extreme heat, and be sure to keep the bottles sealed tight.
7. Unwashed makeup brushes
Think about it, we clean everything else we put on our skin off daily, so why don’t we wash our makeup brushes as often? An unclean makeup brush can transfer potentially harmful bacteria around your face, leading to breakouts and even nasty skin infections like staph, so it’s essential to wash all your brushes thoroughly before use, ensuring they’re left to fully air dry after cleansing, as damp brushes have the potential to grow water-based bacteria. So if you’re in current posession of a makeup brush that has gone a month or more without washing, it may be safest to ditch it, buy some new brushes and start over with a regular brush care reigime.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, as they say…
Images courtesy of chatelaine.com, claires.com, perfumery.com.au, artistofmakeup.com, harboarts.com, adorecosmetics.com, lamorabeauty.com, anail.esy.es