It’s important to know how long you can keep your products for, to avoid irritation and break-outs. Stephanie Smith finds out more, plus beauty offers and new products.
I am a make-up hoarder. Some of the products kept under my bed are more than 10 years old, and I still can’t bear to throw them away. But I should.
“While it doesn’t harm you to use some out-of-date make-up products, some provide moisture which bacteria thrives on, and mascara and eyeliner can cause eye irritations or infections,” says Joanne Dodds of Hairtrade.com.
Here’s what you need to keep an eye on. It’s a good idea to invest in little stickers you can use to date the product once it’s opened.
Make-up sponges should be washed after each use, then thrown away after one month. If you suddenly get a breakout for no reason, it could be bacteria on your sponge.
Discard mascara after it has been opened for three months to prevent bacteria from causing eye irritations or infections.
Avoid pumping your mascara, as this pushes air into the tube, which can cause bacterial contamination. When placing the wand into the tube, swirl around to prevent air bubbles. Never add water.
Cream blush and eye shadow will only last around six months as they offer moisture for bacteria to thrive on. Look out for mould, smell or separation, and throw away if they look a little funny.
Liquid eyeliner lasts around four to six months, but pencil eyeliners can last up to two years if the cap is kept tightly closed. If you’ve had an eye infection, always throw away eyeliners.
Liquid and cream foundations last between six to 12 months, as they contain water, oils and other hydrating agents which decrease the shelf life and increase bacteria. Powders can last up to two years, as it’s harder for bacteria to grow in products that are solid.
Concealer lasts 12-18 months but if is dried out, has a change in texture, becomes cakey or smells different, throw it out immediately.
Wash your make-up tools regularly and also wash your hands before you apply.