If you peek under a woman’s bathroom sink, you’re likely to find a graveyard of beauty products—a blush that was only used once, a half-filled cleanser that’s been sitting untouched for about a year, and a moisturizer that’s never been opened. More often than not, these products have gone bad or even expired. So, here is how to know what to keep and what to toss when cleaning out your beauty stash.
Lotions and Perfume
Body lotion and perfume are two products that tend to last longer than most (typically three to four years), but without a “sell by” date on the packaging, it’s hard to remember how long you’ve actually had that gardenia scented body lotion. So, if your lotion seems thinner or more watery than when you first purchased it, it’s time for it to hit the bin. Also, if it has changed color from a bright white to a less-than-appealing yellow, it’s also time for it to go.
As for perfume, alcohol is a natural preserver, so if it’s kept in a cool, dark place, it should last at least a couple of years. When the scent of the perfume smells altered, you should let it go.
When it comes to skincare products, you want to be extra careful. If a serum, for instance, has expired, it’s not going to be active at fighting your wrinkles. Typically, you shouldn’t hold onto skin-care products for more than 12 months. Products that fight wrinkles, or acne are typically only formulated to be active for a year. After that, the efficacy levels start to diminish and you won’t see noticeable results.
Sunscreen should also be tossed after one year, however, if your formula has turned from white to yellow or comes out runny, the active ingredients in the formula might be compromised and may not continue to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. So, always keep an eye on the way the products looks.
For makeup, you should be more concerned with how much bacteria is in it rather than whether or not the formula has actually expired. Always use clean brushes when applying foundation or lipstick and try to keep your fingers out of products. Mascara should always be tossed after three months, and lipsticks should not be kept for more than a year.