We have all done it used expired make up, after spending some major moolah on designer or high end product it is difficult to throw it away even when you know its past its prime. Most people myself included have products in their makeup bags that last months, years or even decades old. When used it looks perfectly fine and you think what could be the harm right?
Sadly science and research has shown there are a lot of dangers lurking in your makeup when it is past its prime so let’s look at what they are. Well, the antibacterial agents in makeup start to break down after about six months making it a petri dish for bacteria especially in older products.
Over 50% of samples tested from old makeup contained bacteria such as staphylococcus which although commonly found on the skin can be harmful as it causes eye infections as well as skin lesions and rashes. Another bacterium found was streptococcus, which causes sore throat, breakouts, boils and even abscesses.
Some of the bacteria we detected come from household dust and dirty surfaces and the worst were organisms that originate in our intestinal system (faecal matter).
Most of these bacteria are normally found on the skin but have overgrown in your makeup over time due to constant contamination, touching and a breakdown of the antibacterial agent over time. The most shocking aspects is thee concentration of the bacteria, which was 100 time s that found normally.
Clearly old makeup can be dangerous.
Dangers of old makeup
Now we know that old make up can be contaminated what ware some of the dangers they pose to your health?
One of the most common adverse reactions to old makeup is skin infection and/or breakouts. When you use contaminated can lead to acne called ‘’acne cosmetica’’ due to a blockage of pores and bacterial overgrowth. More severe cases could include boils and abscesses on your skin due to infection.
For your eyes using expired mascara or eyeliner can lead to eye infection of varying severity as well as constant sensitivity. So if you have acne or skin issues which do not seem to respond to treatment look at your makeup , They may be the trigger item and you skin issues will not go away until they are removed..
So what is your make up shelf life ?
Some companies include a sell-by date on the container. However, all include this symbol called the ‘’period after opening ‘’ or PAO seen below with a number that indicates how long you can use the product once opened.
Let’s see what this is for most products
Mascara- 3 -6 months
Some brands include an expiration date, however, you need to make sure you throw it away 3 months after you open and use the product. To reduce the likelihood of eye infections, do not pump the wand it allows air into the tube making it a breeding ground for germs. Please throw it away once it dries out don’t try to revitalise it! This goes on your eyes you don’t want to lose them.
The lipstick which has gone ‘’off’’ usually smells or feels funny so keep an eye out for that and get rid of it once you notice.
Lip Liner –2 years
These generally last much longer since they are sharpened regularly which removes the exposed ends. So you can use them for the stipulated 2 years or you have sharpened them down to a nub.
Eye Shadow- 1-2 years
Eyeshadows come in different formulations with the drier formulations being able to last much longer. Power eye shadows last 2 years while cream eyeshadows last only 6 months. You can extend the lifespan of cream shadows by ensuring you use a clean brush each time and never using a dirty brush which can introduce germs.
Eyeliner- 6 months -2 years
Again this depends on the type, for gel liners which come in a pot 6 months is the magic number while pencil liners last up to 2 years for the same reasons lip liners do, – they can be sharpened.
Foundation- 2 years
This also depends on the formula and packaging. Powder foundation lasts up to 2 years, this is the same for a liquid foundation that comes in a pump. Liquid foundations without a pump are exposed to the elements so have a much shorter shelf life of six to eight months.
Powder, Bronzer and Blush- 2 years
Concealer – 2 years
Tips to keep your make-up clean
- Wipe down your lipstick, with a disinfectant or shave off the top of it with a blade especially if you have shared it with someone else.
- Even better don’t share your makeup with anyone
- Keep all the products tightly closed and if you lose the lid or cap throw it out.
- Use disposable applicators, especially for mascara and eye makeup and wash your brushes every week.
- Clean your makeup bag and storage containers with a disinfectant wipe.
- Always apply makeup using clean brushes and applicators
- Products that have changed consistency, colour, formula or smell need to be disposed of, no matter how long you’ve had them.
- If you use powder foundation, scrape off the top layer occasionally.
There it is the dangers of using makeup past in prime and some of the tips to get your makeup to last longer safely. If you have any questions let me know in the comments and follow me on Instagram @beautyharbour.Follow me on social media