Do’s and don’ts with your bathroom products

Exactly how long you can expect to hang on to something really depends on what it is.

If you really must dip your digits into a pot always wash and dry them before you do.

If you really must dip your digits into a pot always wash and dry them before you do. (Photo: LoveProperty)

Your workout isn’t the only thing that needs a regular shake-up. It’s time to do a stocktake of your bathroom products and boot out any troublemakers.

RIFLING through your beauty cabinet can be like reminiscing there’s that moisturizer you got circa 2002 because your bestie swore it changed her life, the lipstick you wore to your 25th, and the shampoo your cousin left in the shower last time she stayed

Bathroom products past the expiration date should be thrown away

But like all good things, beauty products come to an end, too. Using make-up past the expiration date doesn’t just make it less effective and fresh, it can also result in nasty stuff like bacteria, skin irritation and redness No, thanks. So leave the nostalgia at the door, open up that cupboard and let’s cleanse this puppy.

Exactly how long you can expect to hang on to something really depends on what it is. The majority of products will remain in good working order for 1-2 years after you’ve first opened it. Things like foundation, concealer, blush, body washes and moisturisers (if they’re fragranced with natural ingredients) are good for 12 months

Lipstick and gloss should get kicked to the curb in six. And anything going near your eyes (like mascara or liner) should be dumped after three to four months.

Photo: Magazine Feature

Throw away before you restock your bathroom

Unlike your groceries, the rest of what’s in your beauty kit doesn’t come with the date stamped on the side, so it can be harder to keep track of when to bin them and when you’re being just plain wasteful. The first thing you want to do is take a good look and have a whiff. If the ingredients are separating (even slightly) or the smell is different to when you first bought it, it’s time to say goodbye.

Try not to dip your fingers in any bathroom products


Now the good news: there are plenty of sneaky ways to actually extend the life of your loot. Firstly, if there’s ever a choice, pick products that come in pump packs or bottles. This significantly reduces the exposure to oxygen. “Oxidisation causes products to degrade over time. It can change the potency of the ingredients as well as the look and feel explains make-up artist Fern Madden.
If you really must dip your digits into a pot always wash and dry them before you do. This will minimise the amount of bacteria that can get into that jar in the first place. If it’s possible store your most valuable stuff outside of the bathroom-the heat and moisture from the shower can also encourage bacteria. “You want a spot that’s cool, dark and dry,” adds Fern. “I store a lot of my stuff in the fridge door.


Resuscitating beauty products that you haven’t been treating with TLC is pretty easy. “Cleaning off the gunk is key.” says Fem. “You sharpen pencils to freshen them up and you can do the same to make-up that’s creamy, such as lipstick balms, blush and foundation Use a butter knife to very lightly scratch off a shallow layer – you’ll be surprised at the colour you’ll find under there.”
Wash all tools regularly (that means about once a week) – Rather them up with warm water and soap, squeeze out the excess and then let them air dry.

Photo: Magazine Feature

Also read: Take a load off and delegate Superwoman

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