- First and fore most: If there's an expiration date on the packaging, pay attention to it! Chances are the product is no longer effective in it's original purpose. It might smell bad or feel gross. An ingredient may have spoiled. Sometimes it's easy to find like on this bottle:
- Secondly, many products have a dating system from when you've first opened the product. If you're not aware of the symbol, it's easy to overlook. There will be an open jar pictured with a number inside. The number indicates how many months the product is fresh and usable after it's opened. Here are some examples showing items good for 12 months:
This means it's important to remember when you first opened the item! If possible, I suggest keeping a sharpie in the bathroom or near your beauty products to quickly scrawl a date on the tube or jar you've just opened. Just don't grab it instead of the eye liner in the morning! If that seems to risky to chance, I suggest using nail polish on the tube to write a quick date. Nail pens are especially good for this!
Expiration dates are great guidelines! But, if the following dates happen first, toss the item and replace it with a new one (assuming you still like the product).
- Third, some basics for skin care. The LA Times has a great list that's easy to use and developed by a dermatologist. But, here are some highlights, that are sort of surprising!
- Serums: 6 months
- Concealer: 3 months
- Cream eye shadow or blush: 2 months
- Mascara and liquid eye liner: 3 months
- Lipstick: 1 year
- Nail polish: 1 year
So, for those of you with cabinets filled with hotel soaps from vacation 10 years ago and make up you bought in college, it's time to let it go! If it comes down to it, treat yourself to some nice, new, clean products and start fresh. Better safe than sorry!