We all have those rarely used beauty products we aren’t quite ready to throw out. What we may not take into consideration is that beauty products do go bad. At best, they stop performing as well as they used to and at worst, they can cause irritation or even infection.
The expiration clock starts as soon as you open each product – allowing for air and bacteria to come in contact with the formula, causing certain ingredients to oxidize and degrade. There are usually signs of when a beauty product has taken a turn for the worst— an unpleasant odor, change in color, texture or consistency, or a separation of components within a product.
You know your beauty products won’t last forever, so be sure to reference this guide when deciding whether a certain product is still safe to use:
- Body lotions, shower gel, and shampoo: These products generally last about two years, unless they contain specialized ingredients to fight dandruff, acne or other conditions.
- Sunscreens: The active ingredients in sunscreen lose their potency after two to three years. Check the package for an expiration date as some brands print it directly on the package.
- Clarisonic replacement brush heads: For best results, replace your brush head every 3 to 4 months to prevent bacteria buildup. Buy more and save with our brush head twin packs offer.
- Face creams and acne treatments: These products last up to a year as they contain antioxidants that are easily oxidized, so keep an eye out for any changes in color. Be sure to follow the expiration date if available.
- Perfumes: Fragrances usually last about 2 years – they can be adversely affected by light and heat, so if you’re looking to get more mileage out of your perfume, resist the temptation to display a pretty bottle on your vanity and instead keep it in a cool, dark place.
- Nail polish: Polish tends to only last about a year as it is particularly sensitive to heat and humidity. If you notice your nail polish turning clumpy or stringy, it’s time to toss it out.
- Deodorant: For deodorants, a general rule of thumb is that it expires about 1 to 2 years after opening, while antiperspirants will typically have an expiry date printed on the package.
- Foundation: Check the ingredients on your foundation: A water-based foundation will last up to 12 months, oil-based will last up to 18 months. Be sure to wash your make-up brushes at least once every three months to reduce a buildup of bacteria.
- Mascara and liquid eyeliner: These products last three to four months. Make sure you’re diligent about replacing these items to prevent contamination and infections.
- Eye and lip pencils: These can usually last 3 to 5 years. Sharpen them before each use in order to preserve them and keep them clean.
- Lipstick: Lipstick is good for 1 to 2 years. When expires it tends to gather bacteria in the form of beads of oil on the surface of the lipstick itself as well as have unpleasant taste and odor.
Let’s face it, we all have some beauty products that have been sitting around for a while. Whatever the reason may be, if you’re not sure if it’s good any longer just throw out the old and bring in the new.
Photo licensed through Creative Commons by Mubina H.