Monday, August 19, 2013

Is Your Makeup Gross? Clean Makeup Series Part 1: Expiration Dates

Is your makeup gross? Clean Makeup Tips
Recently I put up a post about my Makeup Brush Collection.  In that I talked about how I spot-clean and deep-clean my makeup brushes and how often I clean them.  That got me thinking about the cleanliness of my actual makeup, and how just as with makeup brushes, a lot of folks don't realize they need to clean their makeup too.  So I thought I would put together this series of posts explaining how I know when to throw out my makeup, how I keep it clean, and how to handle makeup testers in stores. 

Part 1: Expiration Dates

The primary thing to be aware of, as with anything that expires or goes bad, are your senses.  Has the smell, texture, (in some cases, taste) or color of the product changed since the day you first opened it?  If so, get rid of it.  I don't care what the expiration date on the package is, I don't care what the general rule of thumb is, and I really don't care if it was limited edition or how much it cost!  If any of those things change its better to be safe than sorry and assume it has gone bad.  The only exception is if you JUST got the product- if it smells weird or is too clumpy or something like that, consider returning it and getting a replacement from a different batch/lot number.

The second thing to be aware of is that makeup does actually have an expiration date, and it is printed on the product's primary packaging.  It looks like an open jar and will have a number & letter in it.  24M means 24 months, 3M means 3 months, etc.  This tells you how long you can typically safely use the product from the first time it was OPENED.  This means the date you actually opened the product, not the date you first used it.  So for example if you got something for Christmas and swatched it right then, but didn't actually use it until July, you're already 6 months in on your expiration 'timer.'

Expiration Dates printed on various products
Expiration Dates printed on various products
So how do I keep track of when I need to throw a product out?  I'll be honest, I don't even bother tracking eye shadow and other powder products because they last so long and they're very easy to sanitize.  Until recently I relied more on the sensory ques than the printed expiration dates.  It was all very vague and full of guessing: 'I think I got this on my birthday so that was how many months ago?" 

But now that I have a Brush Cleaning Calendar, I'm going to use that same calendar and write the name of the product on the date I opened it.  This way I can easily see exactly when its time to throw a product away.

What if the expiration date isn't printed on the product,
 or what if it rubbed off? 

What follows are industry generalizations on expiration 'timers' for different types of products.  I got these generalizations from Koren of EnKore Makeup.  Again, the expiration date stamped on your product trumps these generalizations, and the sensory ques trump all.

Cream Products: 1 year
gel/ cream eyeliners & eye shadow bases
cream shadow sticks
eyeliner & lipliner pencils
lipsticks, lipstick crayons, lip glosses, & lip balms
cream foundations, blushes, highlighters, & bronzers

Sprays: 1 year
refresher, setting, and finishing sprays
spray-on foundation
spray-on bronzers

Powders: 2-3 years
loose, mineralized, pressed or baked foundation, blush, bronzer, highlighter, & eyeshadow

Liquid Foundations: 6-8 months
liquid foundations in pumps, tubes, or bottles

Liquid Liner and Mascara: 3 months
liquid eyeliner pens/markers
inkwell-style liquid eyeliner
any mascara

A Note About Recycling

When its time to chuck that mascara please consider aiming for a tote destined for a makeup counter rather than your trash can.

Several brands are now accepting makeup and beauty empties so they can properly recycle the packaging and reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.  Some companies like Aveda, MAC, and Lush will only accept their own packaging, but
Origins will accept ANY cosmetic brand's empties!  I'm sure there are others out there too, feel free to do your own research if you don't have an Origins store or counter near you.

Return to Origins Recycling Program
Return to Origins Recycling Program

That's it for Part 1 of this series, be sure to come back on Wednesday for Part 2: Sanitation- Keeping Your Makeup Clean!

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