Do you know your make-up expiration dates? Many people don’t think that make-up products expire. But similar to food, they do expire. And, if used long after the expiry date, make-up can cause severe damage on your skin. Here is a guide on how long you should keep your products. By Grace Mantjiu
1. Foundation – Lasts: 6-12 months. Liquids and creams contain water, oils and hydrating properties that shorten their shelf life. They usually start to go off from six months. If your foundation separates or has an unusual odour, then it’s time to throw it away. To avoid bacteria contamination, keep your hands off the opening, pour the foundation at the back of your hand and apply it from there.
2. Lipstick – Lasts: 24 months. Lipstick contains water, but has a waxy consistency. It can last up to two years if you use it properly. This means always closing the lid and using a lip brush. This way, you also avoid unnecessary contact with your skin. If it becomes dry, get a new one.
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3. Mascara – Lasts: Three months. Stop pumping your mascara wand in and out of the tube. Doing this forces air into the tube, which causes bacteria to build up. Do not share you’re your mascara. This is because eyes are sensitive, so you can easily catch infections. When your mascara starts to look dry and clumpy, throw it away.
Tip: Move your mascara wand in slow circular motions while in the tube for a full coverage.
4. Eye make-up – Lasts: 12 months. Cream eyeshadows can last up to a year because they have hydrating ingredients while powder eyeshadows can go up to two years. Gel or liquid eyeliners are susceptible to bacteria contamination, so you should change them every six months. Sharpen your normal pencil liner regularly in order for it to last longer.
5. Powder and blush – Lasts: 24 months. Powder-based formulas last longer. But, watch out for changes in texture such as when they become chalky or hard. Wash your brushes regularly in order to prevent germs from spreading between the product and your face.
6. Nail polish – Lasts: 24 months. Once you open nail polish, the ingredients evaporate. This causes it to thicken. You can use nail thinners to get it back to its original texture. But, once it starts changing colour or separating, then it’s time for a new one. Nail lacquers come at affordable prices, such as Essence the Gel Nail Polish (R29.95).
7. Fragrances – Lasts: 5 years+. Fragrances can last for many years; the key is to keep them away from heat and direct light. Keep them in your cupboard, and make sure that the lid is secure between uses. But, look out for discolouration and a stale smell that differs from the original scent.