Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself what lies beneath your make up brush bristles and on the surface of your beauty products? I assure you that for the most part, it is not a pretty sight. There may be a hidden germ army in your makeup bag! This is an area that is so often overlooked, but the repercussions can be devastating to your face, and your eye area is especially vulnerable.
Your beauty products may look OK, but it is what lies beneath that should have you concerned.Here are are 9 precautions and tips that you can take to keep it as fresh and safe as possible.
1.Sharing stuff means sharing stuff. So, if you are sharing that mascara with a friend, you may also be sharing that pink eye. If you are sharing your lip gloss, maybe you are sharing that cold sore too. When it comes to beauty, it is the time to be greedy. Just say no.
2. Air is your enemy, so seal everything tightly after each use. This goes for face creams, mascara, lipsticks – everything! There is often thought put into package design to make your products less vulnerable to air, so seal them up tightly. The biggest thing you will discover from exposure to air is that your liquid, gel or cream products dry up faster, and all products may get some unwanted bacteria growth.
3. Speaking of air – never pump your mascara! Each time you remove or put your mascara wand back in the tube you are letting air in that is drying out your formula. I have no idea why after all of these years I still see people doing pumping their mascara in and out of the tube, but now is the time to stop it. Now and forever. Please tell all of your friends.
4. Where you store your skin care and beauty products really does matter. Many people keep all of their beauty items in the bathroom, and on one hand this makes sense because that is often where the biggest mirror in the house resides. However, the heat and humidity from your shower and bath can wreak havoc on your products and cause them to spoil or change texture. I won’t even talk about what other things may be floating around in the air landing on your stuff.. The same goes for fragrances which in addition to avoiding the heat and humidity should also be kept out of direct sunlight as this can alter the juice. Ideally, store your stuff somewhere dark and cool, and away from humidity. A linen closet makes a perfect spot.
5. Clean those nasty beauty tools! Sponges, brushes and eyelash curlers need to be cleaned often to prevent cross contamination and potentially cause infection (again your eyes are most at risk!). Not sure what to do? Get a brush cleaning spray to clean your brushes in between uses, and give them a bath once a week. Using a mild shampoo, lather the bristles in warm water and rinse until clean. Avoid getting the brush wet past the bristles as water can cause your brush head to loosen or fall apart. As for those sponges, use the same method and be sure to allow them to fully air dry to prevent mould or bacteria build up. Sponges are not meant to last forever though, so toss them after about a month or when you see signs of wear and tear.
6. If a beauty product has changed in colour, texture or smell since you first opened it – toss it. As products are exposed to air and also to the cross contamination that is transferred between your applicators and your face, they suffer from some wear and tear that should not be ignored for long. Your foundation may separate or smell “off”, your powders may get a shiny glaze over them (usually caused by oil build up), and your mascara may start to appear dry or flake easily. These are all whispers that it’s time for them to go away now!
7. Speaking of mascara – this relationship should resemble a summer fling, not a life long commitment. Three months since opening is really the maximum amount of time you should keep a mascara, and even less if you are prone to eye infections or if your immune system has been compromised. To extend this relationship any longer is kin to thinking you can get that serial cheater to change. Like a bad boy, mascara can hurt you and bring you to tears. Infections and irritations are something you can easily prevent by tossing and replacing your mascara every 3 months.
8. Ask yourself some tough questions: When did I last wear that shiny electric blue eyeshadow? Am I realistically going to be wearing that espresso coloured glittery lipstick again? Asking yourself these sorts of questions will help keep your collection reasonably contained and as fresh as possible. Time to say buh-bye!
9. There is more to consider than expiry dates alone. Skin care is an area that you can not forget about, especially if you are using anything with sun protection in it. You can look for expiry dates, but that alone may not be enough. Most beauty products now have an indicator symbol on the packaging that looks like a jar with the lid open, and a number on it. This number indicates how many months the product is recommended to be used once it has been opened. So, if you used a sunscreen last summer and it does not expire for another year, but the symbol indicates “12” for twelve months after opening, it is best err on the side of caution and start a fresh one.
So now that you are armed with these tips, it’s time to clean your regime. Then, go forth and shop without guilt because you have to replace it in the name of safety.