Your makeup and other beauty products are supposed to make you look prettier. It’s not doing your lovely face or skin any favors if they are causing irritation or breakouts because it has “gone off.” They might also be causing sub-dermal damage you can’t see. It’s really important to use fresh, within date makeup and beauty products but how do you tell if your cosmetics have gone off
Let’s start with the most obvious: the expiration date. On medicated products for treating acne you will find a firm expiration date on the packet, and on some of your lippies and foundations you will see a shelf life symbol on the packaging (3m, 5m 12m etc with the m indicating months). When a medicated product has expired it will lose its effectiveness and you might even find that when you use it you get some unwanted side effects. With both medicated and non-medicated cosmetics it is important to take note of the expiry date. You wouldn’t eat something that was out of date, so why put your face through it?
Squeezy tubes of ointments, cleansers and lotions usually have a longer shelf life than those in jars. This is because every time you put your hand in the jar you add bacteria and germs into the mix, making it a breeding ground. To be safe, chose containers with squeezy tubes. If your favorite product comes in a jar then make sure that you use clean hands and don’t double dip.
A great way to tell whether your cosmetics have expired is by the look, smell and feel of them. If your cosmetics have changed in consistency or appearance, they are probably past their best. If your mascara is smelling a little off, or looking gloopy then throw it away. You need to be extra careful with anything that you put near your eyeballs. With foundations you will find that they smell a little musty when they are gone off. This isn’t going to do your face much good, and you’ll have to walk round with the smell all day.
Dry and powdered products tend to have a longer shelf life than liquid. This is because you put your fingers in the liquids along with a whole host of germs. In moist environments germs thrive and multiply. You might find that you can use your powder with no changes or problems for ages, where as your mascara and liquid foundation separate and change color.
Make sure that you look closely at your cosmetics for any changes that occur. Even when the product is in date but it looks a little different, don’t chance it. If it is a product that you have had your hands in and out of for months you might find that it will go off much sooner. If you have started to have a reaction to one of your cosmetics that you have used regularly, stop using it. This means that your body knows something isn’t right.
Natural products don’t tend to contain any preservatives, such as parabens. Parabens prevent mould and bacteria from developing in your products, something that is pretty important. However if you prefer a natural, preservative free cosmetic then be extra careful. These will breed bacteria much faster than those containing parabens.
When it comes to cosmetics expiration, trust your gut. If it doesn’t smell right, the texture has changed or it feels different when you use it, throw it away. Plastering bacteria and germs all over your face and skin is not worth the risk. If you can’t quite remember when you opened the product, but something isn’t right with it, go out and treat yourself to a new one. A bad reaction to out of date cosmetics isn’t going to go down too well!
It’s not difficult to make sure you’re not using cosmetics and toiletries after they have expired and your skin deserves all the TLC you can give it. Have you ever considered this as an issue before now?