Are Your Makeup and Skincare Products Bad For You?

We are just beginning a new year! Let’s start the new year right and clean out our makeup bags! The government does not require cosmetic manufacturers to put expiration dates on their ace killer og seeds, but that does not mean they are good forever. Definitely, if you are still using makeup that is over two years old (or worse yet, from your high-school days!), then you should definitely stop using these products immediately and toss them!

1) This date is simply a guide to go by. The product’s safety may expire long before the expiration date on the box, especially if it is not stored properly;

2) The date noted on the box is the purchasing date expiration. If you purchase a product and leave it unopened for 6 months, it is probably still okay because air has not been able to reach the product to allow bacteria to grow. But, if you are anything like me, as soon as you get home you have to open the new product to see how a new color looks on you, or how a skincare product feels. I tend to use my purchases almost immediately; and

Ultimately, it is left up to consumers to know when it is time to throw away products but I have some suggestions that may help you. The basics of determining when a product has expired are known somewhat intuitively. If the product smells or looks funny, such as discolored, or runny or lumpy, or if it has separated, it should definitely be thrown away. If the product has expanded, whether it has been opened or unopened, this is a sign that something is not right inside.

Sometimes a product can go bad even if it is not old and has not been exposed to bacteria, so you really always need to look at your products before you apply them to your skin.

It is common for cosmetics to have preservatives in them, but once you open the container, bacteria can enter and the safeness, as well as the effectiveness, of the product is decreased. Preservatives are added to the ingredients to help the products last longer, but not indefinitely. If you are using ‘preservative-free’ cosmetics, you have to be extra-cautious because without the preservatives, bacteria can grow quicker. Other products that are likely to have a shorter shelf life are “all natural” products. Many of these contain substances that are plant-derived and are very conducive to bacteria growth.

Mascara: 3 months. This is probably the product with the shortest shelf life. You should toss mascara after three months. Additionally, do not keep pumping the wand in and out of the mascara container as this pushes air into the product with each push and increases the chance of bacteria. Also, do not add water to the tube to try to get more product. Water increases bacteria, too.

How you can tell: When the ingredients begin to separate (some will settle to the bottom of the bottle, if the texture thickens or thins, or the smell changes. As the foundation ages, the consistency thickens. It may go on unevenly, causing streaks. Powder foundations last longest because they do not contain water, where bacteria will grow. However, powders can become harder to blend and are more likely to crumble over time.

How you can tell: As in mascara, bacteria can flourish in an eyeliner tube and the product dries out. Pencil eyeliners have a longer shelf life because as you sharpen them, you are presented with a clean, fresh surface each time. Powder eye shadows have a longer shelf life, however, they tend to get packed down and it is harder to pick up the colors with your brush.

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