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Health & Beauty: When to Ditch Makeup Products

by Jada Wong, blogger

Ladies, if you’re a makeup hoarder like me, chances are that you own too much make up—most of which is rarely used and taking up space. But while you tell yourself that your purchases are justified because you’ll use these products later, makeup products can actually come back to haunt you.  Since U.S. labeling regulations don’t require makeup to have an expiration date, most people don’t know that there comes a time to toss certain products, according to an article from Good Housekeeping.

Telltale signs that you should ditch your products are when the formulas separate, but it’s the not-so-obvious signs that you need to look out for. Germs and bacteria build up on brushes, inside cosmetics bags, and on the products themselves which can lead to skin irritations and infections. In addition to writing down when you purchased a specific product on the product itself, avoid storing your products in the bathroom cabinet. The heat, humidity, and bacteria in there only speed up the expiration dates.

Here are five handy rules to help you ditch dirty products:

Powders: In general, any powder foundation, blush, or eye shadow can last up to two years, according to Essence. These formulas are free of any water that would be perfect environments for bacteria and germs. Regular use of these products will result in a shiny film over the top layer; this is partially due to the pressure of the brush or your fingertips and the buildup of oils from your skin. To remedy this, lay a piece of tape over the eye shadow pain and just peel it right off. This will lift the top layer of germs and oil that could lead to skin irritation.

Pencils: Since lip and eye liners are sharpened often (which you should be doing), these products can last around two years. Sharpening the product will scrape off the top layer and any bacteria that is growing there. Also, be sure to sanitize the sharpener by swiping rubbing alcohol between uses.

Lips: The general rule is to toss lip gloss and lipstick when it starts smelling funny. A sure indicator that lip stick should be trashed is when you spot beads of separation on the side of the product—the product isn’t sweating, it’s separating. Since both products have a bit of water and are in housed in dark tubes, bacteria will begin to build up. Wallet-friendly tip: If you can’t resist buying a new tube, try buying mini or travel-friendly versions so you can actually finish the product before it’s time to dump it.

Eyes:  Mascara and liquid eye liner should be ditched every three months. Just like lip products, these products are in tubes that are dark and wet – perfect for breeding nasty germs and bacteria that can lead to eye infections. Cream shadows should be ditched after two years as long as you sanitize the product with alcohol, according to Wallet-friendly tip: Since the expiration date for mascara is around three months, try drugstore alternatives to expensive department store products. CoverGirl, Maybelline, and Rimmel have different types of mascara formulas that’ll fit your budget and work just as well as department store brands.

Face: Liquid foundation can be kept for six months. The preservatives in liquid foundations will begin to break down, the product will separate and double-dipping into the bottle will foster bacteria growth. Wallet-friendly tip: Pour liquid onto the back of your hand to warm up the product (which will help it go on smoother) and to eliminate the need to double dip into the bottle. This will help eliminate bacteria growth and potential acne breakouts, according to Good Housekeeping.


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