Wednesday , 18 September 2019
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When to trash your beauty products

Roanna Silveira

Whether you love makeup and beauty products and have a ton of it and use it every day, or you have just one or two products that you use all the time, you may be hoarding your makeup! Sometimes it may be time to thank your product for its service and throw it away.

Makeup, just like every consumable out there, has an expiry date. When makeup expires, it may not apply well, streak, bubble and not last long. More importantly, it may have allowed bacteria to fester and can cause infections.

So, how can you tell if it’s time to throw away your precious products?

Colour changes: Changes in colour may indicate that the chemical composition of the product has changed, making it unstable and possibly dangerous to use. It could also indicate the growth of bacteria which can cause infections.

Texture changes: If your liquid product suddenly thickens, or your cream becomes gloopy or liquid separates, then it’s definitely time to throw it away!

Strange smells: This may be due to growth of microorganisms which may cause reactions.

Visible mold growth: If you see any fuzzy white, green or grey growth or discoloured patches on your makeup, throw it away.

If it doesn’t work like it used to: If your felt tip liner or gel liner dries up, throw it away. If your mascara is dry and clumpy, ignore those “life hacks” to put eye drops or whatever in your mascara tube; throw it out! If your lipstick isn’t applying like it used to, throw it out!

However, even if your makeup doesn’t show any of these signs, it may still be time to discard it. Most makeup products have an expiry period.

Foundation: Liquid foundation can get contaminated by touching it to the skin or with unclean brushes. It’s better to use foundation with a pump (even though it can be difficult to get the last bit!) because there’s less contact with the rest of the foundation. Just avoid touching the spout of the pump while using it. Throw out your liquid foundation after 12 to 18 months.

Cream foundation, similarly can be kept up to 12 to 18 months.

Powder foundation and compact foundation can last up to 24 months because of their drier formulation.

Concealer: Cream concealer can be kept for a maximum of 12 to 18 months. If it comes in a tube, do not apply with the wand directly on your skin. Put the product on a clean palette first. This will keep your concealer sanitary, and help keep pimples at bay.

Blush, bronzer, highlighter: Cream or liquid products can be safely used for up to 12 to 18 months of opening the container.

Powder products can be used up to 24 to 36 months.

Eye liner: Liquid liners dry up easily, so you will need to throw this out quickly anyway. Discard these after three months.

Gel liners can be kept for up to 9 months, but they usually dry out before this, so discard it when it does!

Pencils can be used for up to 24 months, if stored well and sharpened regularly.

Mascara: Mascara comes in contact with the eyes as well. These should be discarded every three months. However, if you happen to suffer from any eye infection, throw out your mascara and any other product that comes directly in contact with your eyes, lest you suffer from a re-infection!

Eye shadow: Powder eye shadows can be stored for up to 36 months if stored in a cool place, regularly sanitised and if one’s makeup brushes are cleaned regularly.

Cream and liquid eye shadow, however, must be discarded after 18 months.

Lip products: Lipstick can last up to 24 months, if stored in a cool place.

Lip gloss however should be trashed after 12 to 18 months.

Lip pencil can last up to 24 months. Ones that need to be sharpened have less chances of accumulating bacteria.

To get the best use out of your products, store them in a cool, dry place; avoid direct contact with the skin as much as possible; clean makeup brushes regularly; and throw them out on time.

With products like eyeliner and mascara that need to be discarded every few months, one can skimp on them, and buy budget products. Maybelline and Lakme are some brands that have decent budget makeup to offer.

Go safely on your makeup journey!

(Writer can be contacted at

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