Are you a makeup hoarder? If you have eye shadows colors that only a teenager can get away with and you’re over the age of 30, the answer is probably “yes.” Whether it’s an attachment issue, or if you’re just sort of lazy, expert advice says, “Out with the old,” and it’s not just a backlash against hoarding. Apparently, there are certain guidelines when it comes to storing your cosmetics and, if your safety is a concern, you may want to know them.
Cosmetic products should remain safe for a reasonable amount go time, provided they are properly stored. That means makeup should be kept in a dry, cool place, without exposure to direct sunlight and the lids securely closed. Hands should be clean before putting fingers into products for application and sharing makeup is not advisable.
Once you open your makeup, it becomes exposed to dirt and microorganisms, such as yeasts, mold and bacteria found on applicators, brushes, and in the air. Although most cosmetics contain preservatives to kill the microorganisms, the efficacy of these additives can decrease with time and increased exposure to air. If contaminated, use of these products can cause irritation or infection of the skin. Products must be checked regularly to prevent this from occurring.
There are no US laws requiring cosmetics to have expiration dates. The FDA considers the shelf life of cosmetics to be part of the responsibility of the manufacturer. Sunscreen and acne products, which are considered to be drugs under law, are subject to regulation and are required to have expiration dates on the label.
So how long should you hold on to your product? In the UK, products with a shelf life of less than two and a half years a required to be labelled with a best before date, however dating is not common, due to the fact that most cosmetics have a shelf life exceeding two and a half years. However, eye area cosmetics usually have the shortest shelf lives in the cosmetic family and manufacturers tend to recommend discarding mascara two to four months after it is purchased because mascara is exposed to fungi and bacteria with ever usage, and becomes unsafe quickly.
How Do I Know If A Product Is No Longer Safe?
If you come across makeup that has not had a lid on it for a long period of time, you should probably toss it, regardless of the expiration date. Check products for suspicious smell, color, or texture. Lumpy discolored makeup may not do its job properly and could be risky to someone with preexisting skin conditions.
- Read instruction and warnings carefully.
- Keep lids on products and use products within recommended time period.
- Avoid storing cosmetics in direct sunlight or near heat sources. Choose cool, dry areas when possible.
- Do not mix or dilute products with other products unless instructed.
- Make sure all applicators or hands are clean before applying cosmetics. Wash applicators regularly with detergent, soap, or mild shampoo.
- Make sure applicators dry completely before use.
- Avoid sharing cosmetics.
How do you store your cosmetics? Do you still have your punk rock purple lipstick from the eighties? Let us know what shocking things you discovered weeding through your old makeup! We love to hear from you!