Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Clean Our Makeup Drawers And Skincare Cabinets

Roll Up Those Sleeves And Bring The Garbage Pail

Now is as good a time as any to take a peek into our treasure trove of dated cosmetics, skincare and personal care products and get busy sorting out what is old, what we don't use anymore, and well...what we thought looked good on us in the store, turns out to be quite different once we get it home. We hang onto it in the hope that at some point it will perhaps magically change and look better after some time passes.

What we seem to lose sight of is that makeup and personal care products cannot hang around our bathrooms indefinitely. There are environmental factors which play a huge role in how long our products are still good, let alone safe to use. Yep....and even mineral makeup has a shelf life to a degree!

If you are like me, I hate to waste anything. But the reality is, despite what we may have spent on something, thinking we'll use it up later is not always practical and may cause harm to our bodies. This usually happens when we find the latest and most fantastic makeup, lipstick, eye shadow, shampoo and conditioner (I'm famous for hoarding these), facial care, anti-perspirant, body lotion and any other personal care product.

So with Spring just around the corner, let's get busy tossing out products that have been buried deep in the dark recesses of our cabinets and drawers.

Time Factors For Safe Use And Efficacy

Now remember variables in these factors will be based on preserved, naturally preserved and preservative free products.
  • Liquid Makeup ~ Preserved Unopened..... 1-2 yrs. Once opened use it up within 4 months. Naturally preserved, unopened.....6 months. Once opened..... 30 days, and Non-preserved unopened.... 2 weeks tops. Opened.... 1 week. Most liquid foundations typically have a water component.
If your liquid foundation is a pump bottle you can use it longer extending it to an extra month or two depending on preservative formulation.
  • Mineral Makeup Loose ~ Preserved, Naturally preserved and Non-preserved, unopened.... indefinite. Opened, all loose mineral powders.... 2 years tops.
Caveat....not because of anything growing or spoilage of your minerals, but due to efficacy. Mineral Makeup will begin to oxidize and degrade over time especially when left on the counter. Light and air is this products' enemy. Iron Oxides fade and change color when exposed to oxygen and light giving your once perfect shade an odd color to your skin tone. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide will also lose potency for sun protection due to oxidation. Despite what advertisers tell you, powders don't last forever!

Our Raw ingredients and batched colors are all stored in a cool, dark, humidity controlled facility in airtight containers for optimum freshness and efficacy.
  • Pressed Powders of all types including eye shadows ~ Preserved, Naturally preserved and Non-preserved unopened....same as for loose powders. Opened, all formulations within 1-3 months.
Same rules apply as above but with another debris, body oils, skin cream residue, germs, bacteria and viruses can build up and live on this type of surface and the pressed powder quickly becomes a filthy makeup pot. All future uses are less than sanitary.
  • Lipsticks ~ Preserved, Naturally preserved and Non-preserved unopened.....1 year. As a rule due to the formulations, lipsticks can dry out and become more brittle. Those comprised with silicone oils may last longer. Opened, all formulas....4-9 months.
Lipsticks can be extended and salvaged if used during a cold sore outbreak by dipping in alcohol and allowing to dry.
  • Tubed and Potted Lip Colors ~ Preserved, Naturally preserved and Non-preserved unopened.....1 year. Once opened.... 3-6 months. No water formulation is typical.
Forcing air and moisture into a tube causes rapid breakdown of the oils and butters plus contamination from a cold sore or other bacteria. Bacteria and mold can take hold in this environment once any trace moisture has entered into the tube. Always make sure you apply to dry lips. For best results apply over the top of a layer of mineral foundation.
  • Lip and Eye Pencils ~ Preserved, Naturally Preserved and Non-preserved unopened.....2 years. Once opened all formulas.....1 year.
Pencils are unique in that, once sharpened repeatedly, this exposes a fresh clean surface of application. The only reason for shelf life really is due to the waxes being used...over time they will become rancid and harden.
  • Mascara ~ Preserved, unopened....2 years. Once opened..... 2-3 months tops. Naturally preserved and Non-preserved are not an option. Avoid these at all costs.
When dealing with our eyes, mascara requires preservative to kill bacteria and viruses. On occasion we can poke our eyes with the wand which in turn can cause an eye is spread through use of contaminated mascaras. Air and moisture forced into the tube repeatedly promotes rapid degradation of the product. Without a preservative system these little tubes of beauty can go as far as to cause blindness under the right circumstances. If you should hang onto your precious tube of mascara up to 4 months, you'll notice it is getting thicker and clumpier. This is a sign that the product is degrading and should be discarded regardless of still having product in the tube. They are not designed to use until it is all gone.....never, ever add water to the tube to extend the mascara.

C'mon ladies...toss it already! Besides, this allows you to go try the next new mascara that hits the store shelves.
  • Body, Face Scrubs, Washes, Lotions and Creams in a jar with water or distillates added ~ Preserved, unopened....2 years. Once opened.....4 months. Naturally preserved, unopened....6 months. Once opened.....30 days. Non-preserved, unopened....1 week. Once opened.....1 week tops with refrigeration. Water is the medium to begin bacterial and mold growth so if the company professes made all natural and is preservative free, consider the product suspect.
If you have purchased these without water or distillates and it is comprised of all butters and oils then shelf life is considerably longer.

Caveat.....Naturally preserved and Non-preserved will not provide protection once opened despite this factor. Moist hands, humidity in a bathroom or light exposure sitting on top of the counter will cause these products to produce bacteria and mold growth at a rapid rate. Butters and oils possess natural humectant properties attracting moisture from the air to the product every time you open the jar....ever see droplets dancing on the inside lid of your jar? This is due to the humectants! With preserved products, remember to wipe out periodically to keep the inside of the jar as dry as possible to extend shelf life.
  • Body, Face Scrubs, Lotions and Creams in squeeze bottles, tubes or pumps with water or distillates added ~ Preserved, unopened....2 years. Once opened..... 1 year. Naturally preserved, unopened....6 months. Once opened.....1 month. Non-preserved, unopened....1 week. Once opened.....maybe 1 week tops and if you refrigerate. Same as above in the jar, water is the problem with bacterial and mold growth.
Products in tubes, squeeze bottles and pumps with no water or distillates will have considerably longer shelf life unopened.

Caveat....much longer than a year however, you are dealing with the probability of rancidity and loss of efficacy. Once opened...same as above for Preserved. Naturally preserved, opened...2-3 months. Non-preserved, opened.....1 month with refrigeration.
  • Shampoos and Conditioners usually in tubes and squeeze bottles without water~ Preserved, unopened....2 years. Once opened..... 1 year. Naturally preserved, unopened....1 year. Once opened.....2 months. Non-preserved, unopened....1-2 months. Once opened.....maybe 2 weeks tops and if you refrigerate. With water the same rules apply as above, plus humidity from the shower will prove to be a contaminating factor. What we may not realize is when we release the pressure from squeezing out our product, we then suck back into the tube or bottle humid air from our the product is in the beginning stages of bacterial growth or mold.

  • Anti-perspirant ~ Preserved, unopened....2 years. Once opened..... 4 months. Naturally preserved, unopened....1 year. Once opened.....1 month. Non-preserved except for crystals are pretty much done after a couple of weeks.
To extend any anti-perspirant, store in your drawer and always apply to a clean underarm. Toss it if you don't use it within these time frames...typically they will dry out or get runny and this occurs when the added skin moisturizers separate from the active ingredients....I have had this happen to me on many occasions when it is only 2 months old or I start to get down to the last of the roll up.

Same Time Next Year

Every Spring is a great time to begin this adventure, just like changing out our smoke detector batteries. Make it part of the annual ritual to discard products that are gathering dust or have been exiled to the back of the makeup drawer or cabinet.

Remember, the list above are guidelines, and variables occur based on storage, care and handling, dry versus wet climates, heat versus cold. But a great rule of thumb is......When in doubt, throw it out!

Also, unless it is mineral makeup, don't stock up on products that go on tempting at this is, you have to take into account unopened shelf life. Having your favorite makeup, lipstick, skin cream or shampoo sit in your bathroom because you bought a years supply, this product is already compromised by the time you open it....just a wrinkle for you to iron out in a thought process we are all used to when shopping for personal care products.

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the Spring sunshine. Personally, I am looking forward to getting out into my garden and taking trips to the nursery to get it ready for bloom and growth....tidying up the yard is great exercise and begins the process of endorphins flowing with the sun shining. Plus, flowers simply make me smile.....A lot!


Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

No comments:

Post a Comment