Save or Toss: Is it time to "spring clean" your beauty routine?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Its officially SPRING!!! YAAASSSS!!

With the spring equinox and full moon just a few days ago, it has me so excited for warmer weather and renewed growth after meditating and releasing energy that no longer serves me for good!

It also has me excited for the new life that is blooming all around us. The flowers and trees, along with allergy season, and the birds have started to sing again. It makes me so incredibly grateful to have survived another winter cooped up.

Now if you are anything like me, I've accumulated even more stuff from time spent with family over the holidays, and I tend to have a difficult time throwing anything away because I always feel like I'm going to need it later even if that later is really almost never. 

However, when you are using products on your skin, especially your face, it's very important to keep expiration dates in mind. Using products that are past its “shelf life” generally means that a product may no longer look and act as expected. So knowing what to look for will help you to stay safe while using it.

So its time to #Konmari your makeup bag!

Now I know what you're thinking! "I have eye palettes from, like, 10 years ago! I thought they never went bad!" Well, that's definitely not true, but I get it. I'm guilty of holding onto products longer than I should too.

The length of time a product lasts before expiring can vary. It honestly can be dependent on the type of product, how it is used, and how it is stored. You may ask yourself how long should you keep makeup? Some products actually have an expiration date on it, but what about those that don't? You don't normally see the expiration icons listed on your mascara or lipstick, so how long should you keep different types of cosmetics? Over time, cosmetics start to degrade or break down for a number of reasons.

A few of the more common reasons that can cause cosmetics degrading:

*Applicators, especially mascara wands, are exposed to bacteria and fungi each time you use them. This is why products like mascara, lip gloss, and felt tip eyeliners are personal products and should not be shared.

*Emulsions, which are mixtures of water and oil, can separate.

*Using your fingers! Dipping fingers into a product adds microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, which need to be controlled, for example, by preservatives. *Preservatives can break down over time allowing bacteria and fungi to grow. *Exposure to moisture, such as in a bathroom, may make it easier for bacteria and fungi to grow. *Products can dry out, causing them to harden and crack. So be sure to keep lids on tight and limit exposure to air. *Temperature changes and exposure to sunlight and air can cause changes in color and texture and may cause the products to smell.

Now don't fret yet, some makeup actually has a recommended shelf life listed right on the package, so be on the look out for this symbol. It typically indicates the number of months a product is good for from the date it's opened. AKA, the shelf life of the product.For example, It’s suggested that you don’t use this foundation after 12 months from the date it's opened.

But what about if a product doesn’t have this symbol? I've found a lot of times the symbol is on the packaging or box it's sold in, not necessarily on the actual product itself. If you don't see this icon anywhere on the product or packaging then you’ll want to try to either remember the date you opened it, or write it on the product or another location. I know a lot of people that love to track things in their bullet journal, so if that's you then there you go.

That's just one example though, and not all cosmetics are created equal. Cosmetics that you use around your eye tend to have shorter shelf lives than other products. Bacteria is more likely to grow in cream-type formulas, which is like skincare, mascaras, lipgloss, foundations, etc. Especially if you aren't mindful of washing your hands beforehand or even using a tiny spatula to scoop the product out, which may cause eye infections that can be serious, and manufacturers usually recommend discarding mascara two to four months after purchase. That’s because each time a person uses mascara, it’s exposed to bacteria and fungi.


You will find a lot of different information out there, but here is a guideline that I created:

Remember, this is a guideline only. How long you can use a cosmetic safely also depends on you.


*If mascara becomes dry, throw it away. Do not add water or, even worse, saliva to moisten it, because that will introduce bacteria into the product. If you have an eye infection, talk with your health care provider, stop using all eye-area cosmetics, and throw away those you were using when the infection occurred.

*Don’t share makeup. You may be sharing an infection. “Testers” at cosmetic counters in stores are even more likely to become contaminated than products in your home. If you feel you must test a cosmetic before you buy it, apply it with a new, unused applicator, such as a fresh cotton swab.

*Keep containers and applicators clean. Use 70% alcohol to keep everything clean. Learn more here

*Store cosmetics properly. For example, don’t leave them where they are exposed to heat, such as in a hot car. Heat can make preservatives break down and cause bacteria and fungi to grow faster.

*Be wary of products offered for sale in flea markets or re-sold over the Internet. Some may be past their shelf life, already used, diluted, or tampered with in other ways. They may even be counterfeit, “fake” versions of the product you think you’re buying.


Now that you've gone through your old makeup, don’t stop there! What about those things that may not be expired yet?  Take this opportunity to spring clean the rest of your makeup draw and don't forget to grab some of your tools, like your makeup brushes, that you never think to clean.

Here are some more guides to help you along the way.


You did it! Don’t you feel so much better now?  I'm sure if you cleaned up like I did then your probably in need of some new (not so expired) makeup and skincare! And you deserve it! You deserve to reward yourself and I want to reward you too! So for all of your hard work, I have a 20% OFF coupon code just for you.  Just click here and fill out the contact form to request the promo code.*

Can't wait to hear from you!


Ash Mac

*By requesting for the spring cleaning promo code you are acknowledging and agreeing to be added to our email list as a free preferred customer.

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