If you’re like us, our bathroom cabinets and drawers can get crowded with beauty products that can often times go unused and/or forgotten about. We’d love to think that they could all last forever (being the beauty junkies that we are), but that’s simply just not the case. We decided to debunk the facts about the most commonly kept lotions, potions and makeup that builds up in our cabinets.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 2.58.00 PMPhoto via SarahLovsMakeup

LIPSTICK

  • What is the standard guideline for when to throw out a used tube of lipstick? 1-2years
  • Is there circumstance where it could have a longer shelf life? If so, how long much further can we go past the recommended throw-out time period? Lipsticks last longer than lip gloss because there isn’t an application wand being exposed to air all the time. A good rule of thumb is that if it smells rancid or feels different(too waxy or sticky) then throw it away.
  • What are the skin risks of swiping on a tube that’s too old? Probably won’t make you sick but it can taste bad and dry out the lips. In severe cases expired lipstick can cause irritation to the lip area. If you suffer from cold sores and used your lipstick while having a breakout definitely throw it away as you may have contaminated it.

SUNSCREEN

  • When should we throw out sunscreen that has been opened? Most sunscreens have expiration dates listed and this will vary depending on ingredients. With our Sun Visor SPF30, we recommend 12 moths after opening. Since the sun can be so harmful and damaging to the skin and our health, you should obey the expiration date. Sunscreen will not be as effective post expiration date and therefore may allow for sunburn and most certainly sun damage and skin damage.
  • If your sunscreen doesn’t have an expiration date on it, is there a way to tell if it has gone bad? It may appear clumpy, yellow in hue, watery or smell funny. If you are unsure then toss it and buy a new bottle.

SKINCARE CREAM

  • When should we throw out face cream that has been opened? 6-12 months
  • What if we neglect to use it, will it still be good? Depends on the ingredients and the packaging. Natural products formulated ‘without preservatives’ will go bad first. Water based products are also the first to go. Airless pumps or tubes will last a little longer than jars as jars get cross contaminated by bacteria on your fingers and in the air.
  • Is there anything we can do to make our face cream last as long as possible? If your product is a face oil or has active ingredients like Vitamin C, acids or Retinol, it should be packaged in a dark glass container and kept in a cool dark place. If you’re using a jar absolutely utilize the spatula that comes with it as this keeps your fingers and bacteria out of the jar. If it doesn’t come with a spatula then get one or use something disposable or that you can clean after each use.

PRESSED POWDERS

  • What is the typical guideline for throwing out loose and pressed powder (including blushes and bronzers)? 12 months
  • What can we really get away with? If the product has not been contaminated by either skin infections(breakouts) or bacteria from brushes then maybe 2 years. This brings up the topic of keeping brushes clean. Clean brushes will prolong the lifespan of your makeup. If you’re using a sponge in the compact make sure to keep it clean or replace it.

LIQUID FOUNDATION

  • When should we throw out liquid foundation that has been opened? 6-12 months
  • Is there any flexibility? If foundation is in a pump then it will last longer as it is not being contaminated. If you dab your fingers in the foundation jar always make sure you have washed your hands first or use a brush or disposable sponge
  • Should we follow these same guidelines for concealer or does it have a different shelf life once opened? Similar guideline depending on the packaging. If its in a pump then it will last the longest. If it is a little wand that you touch to imperfections on the skin, make sure you wash this and replace every 6 months. Skin infections and breakouts have bacteria and this can get transferred onto the wad or brush and then back into the container, so really keep these clean.
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