Spring clean your make up kit

When to throw out make up

It’s easy to lose track of time, but keeping an eye on your make-up expiry dates is a must.

Using products that are past their use-by date can transfer bacteria to your skin and face, weakening cell structures and causing irritations and break-outs. So how long should we be holding on to our products?

Mascara: lasts 2-3 months

Once your mascara gets thick and clumpy or starts to smell unusual, it’s time to throw it out.

Liquid foundation and concealer: lasts 6-12 months

Keep an eye out for changes in tone and consistency. Most foundations contain preservatives (natural or synthetic) which prolong their shelf-life. 

Lipstick: lasts 1 year

If your lippy looks dry, then it’s certainly not going to look great on, or be good for, your lips. Throw it out immediately. If it’s a much-loved colour that you use often, you’ll likely go through it much faster.

Eyeliner: lasts 4 months

This goes for liquid and pencil liners. Don’t compromise the health of your eyes and delicate skin around them by continuing to use expired products.

Eye shadow and powders: lasts 2 years

By keeping your eye shadow, blush, bronzer and highlighters in a cool place, you’ll be able to enjoy them for up to two years.

Brushes: clean weekly

Brushes should be cleaned regularly, to avoid a build-up of bacteria. Clean brushes with antibacterial soap, a gentle shampoo (such as baby shampoo), or specific make-up brush cleansing products. Rinse well, but don’t use hot water as it can melt the adhesive keeping the brush attached to the handle. Lie brushes flat on an absorbent paper towel and allow them to dry overnight. Ideally, this should be done once a week if you use brushes daily.

What to look for on the pack?

Ever noticed the little jar-like picture on make-up and skincare products? That’s known as the Period After Opening (PAO) sign. Many companies use this illustration as a way to tell you how long you should continue to use a product once it is opened. For example, 12M = 12 months. Alternatively, you may find a ‘best before’ or expiry date printed on the product or its packaging.

If you are unsure, ask for guidance from your Unichem or Life Pharmacy beauty consultant. 

Source: Living Well magazine, Issue 06, Spring/Summer 2016. 

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