Let's be honest; how long has your fave mascara been lurking in your makeup bag? How about your moisturiser in your skin care drawer - was it there last year? Believe it or not beauty products all carry their very own shelf life dates - and it is super important to take notice of them and follow them correctly. If you don't, you could expose your skin to bacteria and other nasties that could cause reactions, breakouts or worse!
Mascara - Whether regular or waterproof your mascara should really only be used for 3 months. The eyes are super sensitive and the fact that we repeatedly dip our mascara wand back into the moist tube after applying to the eye means it is a perfect harbourer of bacteria and nasties, so don't risk it - bin it!. Your eyes are just too important!
Powders (eyeshadows, mineral makeups ect.) - Even though most people will keep these forever, you should only keep your powder makeups for up to 18 months. We apply these very regularly and bacteria can be transferred from the skin to your makeup brush to your powder product and back again, so keeping them any longer than 18 months can mean a serious build up and could lead to all sorts of skin problems.
Foundations and Concealers - No matter what form your foundation or concealer comes in (powder, liquid,cream) you should toss them out from between 6-9 months of opening. Your foundation can start to grow all sorts of bacterias after being opened which is terrible for your skin. You will be able to tell if your foundation has passed its best because it will begin to separate or go thick and clumpy, it's pigment can also be affected which means it wont match your skintone anymore and the wear time wont be as good. One good way to keep your foundation most hygienic is to use a pump dispenser, this will stop dirt from fingers or brushes getting to it.
Lipstick & Lipgloss - 1-2 years is the best amount of time to keep your lip products. Many of them contain oils which bugs and bacteria don't like, meaning they will keep well for a longer period of time. Your lip products will start to smell off if they have gone bad, due to the oil going rancid.
Pencil Products (Eyeliner, Lipliner ect.) - Again, you can keep these for up to 2 years - provided you keep them freshly sharpened. Keeping your pencil products sharpened will mean that you are eliminating possible bacteria's transferred from your skin to the product.
Cleansers- Cleansers can vary in shelf lives; water or cream based ones will give you 6-9 months as bacteria tends to grow quickly in moist places, while oil based cleansers will give you up to a years use, so choose wisely!
Moisturisers- If your moisturiser comes with a pump dispenser you can easily keep it for up to a year as your fingers wont be contaminating it, but if you have jarred or potted moisturisers you should really only keep them for up to 6 months - dirt and bacteria's on your hands will be transferred to the product every time you use it so you don't want to encourage any skin issues. You can avoid transferring bacteria's to your product by washing your hands before use.
There are some simple to follow, good practises for maintaining your products and getting the best from them. You can;
. Store products in a cabinet or drawer.
. Make sure to tighten/secure the cap properly after each use.
. Try to write the date of purchase in a Sharpie on the bottom or back of the package to keep track of each one.
. Always toss out eye products after you've had an eye infection to stop the spread of the infection.
. Try to avoid products packaged in jars. Jar packaging carries a 100% risk of bacterial contamination due to the fact your sticking fingers or other objects into them.
. Avoid storing products in direct sunlight.
. As kind as it is, don't share your products with others - especially eye and pencil products.
. Avoid "pumping" your mascara in the tube.
We hope you found this guide handy! Looking after your products will, in turn, look after your skin and healthy skin is happy skin! Dont forget you can share your top tips with us on our Insta (@bella_and Bear), our Facebook page, or our Twitter feed (@bella_and_bear)!