Think a second for me- how long have you had your mascara? Eyeliner? Lipstick? These are objects that come in contact with sensitive areas (at least your eyes, anyway) on a daily basis…so what do you suppose the shelf life of these cosmetics is?
The most common risk of holding on to your makeup for too long is the threat of infection. Should you ever have an eye infection and not throw out your mascara or eye liners you could possibly expose yourself to the same contaminate again and again. Any moist product, be it a lipstick, cream blush or eyeshadow, or liner has the potential to harbor bacteria. Ew.
While the FDA does set production regulations for cosmetics, the United States doesn’t have any laws requiring cosmetic manufacturers to include expirations on their packaging. Most information about when to toss your Lash Blast comes from those within the beauty industry. OSHA and each state’s Board of Cosmetology have strict guidelines for health and safety that these professionals have to adhere to. These include application procedures, how to properly sanitize and store makeup, and also when to discard and renew their stock.
So…how long has that mascara been sitting in your makeup bag then? If it’s been more than three months it’s time to toss it out. Mascara has the shortest lifespan of any makeup you’ll use. Given that the applicator goes from your eye straight back into the tube, the risk of spreading bacteria is higher than any other product. If your mascara starts to dry out before the 90 day mark or starts to smell a little off-throw it away. Not doing so will only increase your chances of an eye infection.
Eye and lip pencils have a much hardier longevity; provide you care for them properly. If you sharpen your pencils after each use (and if you really want to be a stickler for sanitization- spritz with alcohol) they can last up to two years.
Lip gloss and lipstick are less likely to grow bacteria that other liquid or crème based products but should still have an eye kept on them. As clean as we think we are, they are still coming in contact with our mouths and being stored within the same container over and over. Lip gloss can be held onto for around 6 months and lip stick for up to 1 year. Taking a tissue to your lipstick after each use will help increase its life a bit, too.
Shadows, blushes, concealers, or foundations also have more life to them. Liquid/cream variations of these products can survive upwards of 12 months with proper brush care. Powders can last closer to two years. Spraying your brushes with a cleaner or diluted alcohol and gently swirling them on a towel to remove excess product is enough to keep them clean and sanitized. If you’re concerned with drying out your brushes with the alcohol solution, go for a brush cleaner bought from your salon or cosmetic counter.
Where you store your products has an effect on them as well. All products should be closed tightly in between uses, but also kept in a dry, cool place. Think about it- bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments. So don’t leave your makeup bag in the car or your products haphazardly scattered about your bathroom. A sticky, hot car and a steamy bathroom may not be the final curtain on your makeup but it will contribute to its ultimate demise.
Take care of your makeup- you’ve invested a lot of money into purchasing it and time into wearing it! Good sanitation practices will not only protect you, but also keep your makeup alive and kicking longer, too. Be aware of how long you’ve had your products and even if you have to grin and bear it- let it go when it’s time.