We all have that lipstick that’s older than we’d care to admit, but we can’t seem to bring ourselves to toss. But like the food in your fridge, your makeup and skincare have an expiration date you shouldn’t ignore. If you needed an excuse to make some new purchases, this is it.
Holding on to your products past their prime can result in serious skin irritations, eye infections and breakouts. If that’s not enough to get you cleaning out your makeup drawers, a study conducted by London Metropolitan University found that out of date lipstick, lip gloss and old makeup brushes can hold a deadly strain of bacteria which causes meningitis and Septicaemia– one of the biggest killers for newborn babies.
While this might not be groundbreaking information if you think about everything your products, sponges and brushes are touching, there’s no denying that using cosmetics for too long can be dangerous for your health and the health of those around you.
Unfortunately makeup and skincare expiration dates aren’t always as clear as the ones you’d find on food packaging, so to help with your decluttering, let’s dive into exactly what you need to know about replacing your beauty products.
Know When to Toss Your Products
First, meet your new best friend; the PAO symbol, meaning period-after-opening. Usually found on the bottom of your products, this symbol acts as a guide for how long (in months) you should continue to use a product after you’ve opened it.
If you can’t find the PAO symbol on one of your products, here are some general rules that can apply depending on the product type.
To make sure you get the most of your products, give some of these tips a go.
- Try adding a label to each new product with the date you opened it to ensure you don’t use it past its recommended shelf-life.
- Always wash your hands before applying a product to get rid of any nasties.
- Regularly clean your brushes, sponges and tools to stop any bacteria transferring.
- Keep your products sealed tight to avoid any exposure to moisture or air.
- Don’t share your products with others, particularly anything that touches the eye area.
- Store your products in a cool, dry place, avoiding direct sunlight.
- And most importantly, if you notice a change in the texture, colour or smell, toss this product out immediately!
How long have you been holding on to your beauty products? Send us a DM on Instagram @centennialbeauty to let us know!