Avoid using expired cosmetics!

We all have an old lipstick we rarely use or an eye liner we bought last year that's hiding in the bottom of our makeup bag. Here's something to remember: cosmetics, like food products, have expiry before dates that have to be kept in mind to avoid irritation or infection. Do you know the facts about product life? Here's a quick test.

TRUE OR FALSE?

To find out if a product is expired, simply look at the packaging.

False. Yes, the packaging features important information. Products that contain an SPF have the expiry date printed on the outside of the box or stamped into the crimped end of the tube. Most other products, however, feature a pictogram of an opened jar accompanied by the letter M, for month. This symbol shows how long the product can be kept. For example, 6M means the product can be kept for 6 months from the date it was opened.

Remember: that symbol is simply a guideline. Some products will last for a shorter period of time, particularly if they aren't stored properly. That's why you should also make note of the smell, the colour and the texture, and stop using the product if you notice any deterioration.

You should avoid storing cosmetics in the bathroom.

True. Humidity encourages bacterial growth. Instead, store your jars, makeup and brushes in a clean, dark, dry location like the drawer of your dressing or night table.

Jarred products last just as long as pumped products.

False. Contrary to tubes, using jars means sticking your fingers into the product, which increases the risk of contamination. So it's important to take extra precautions when using them: make sure you wipe the inside of the lid clean to avoid oxidation of the excess product and always ensure you close the lid tightly after use.

Contrary to other beauty products, fragrances have no fixed expiry date.

True. But be aware: that doesn't mean they last forever. To keep them at their best, always store them in a cool, dark place with your other cosmetics.

Lipstick can last up to two years.

True. But don't use it beyond that date as the moisture content can lead to bacterial growth. Lip, eye and lash liners have a similar shelf life. But you'll have to sharpen them often and remember to wash your sharpener every time you use it!

Mascara is one of the products with the shortest shelf life.

True. Dark and humid... a mascara tube is the ideal environment for bacterial growth. So you should change yours every three months just as you would with your liquid liner or concealer.

Foundation can be kept for 2 to 3 years, like loose powder, eye shadow or blush.

True… But only if it's powder! Given its low moisture content, powdered foundation accumulates bacteria more slowly than liquids, as long as you only use clean brushes. Liquid foundation, however, should only be kept for 9 months.

Body moisturizers last longer than face creams.

True. They can last up to a year, while face-care products (creams, cleansers, scrubs and masks) only last 6 to 9 months. In both cases, you should always check your products carefully: certain ingredients evaporate more quickly than others, making the product more concentrated than it should be, which increases the risk of irritation.

SHELF LIFE: THE ULTIMATE CHEAT SHEET

Indication on shelf life of your cosmetics
Mascara and liquid eyeliner 3 months
Concealer (stick) 3 to 6 months
Creams (day, night) 6 to 9 months
Makeup remover (eyes, face) 6 to 9 months
Scrubs 6 to 9 months
Clay moisturizing masks, cleanser 6 to 9 months
Calming cream 8 months
Foundation 9 months
Body cream 12 months
Blush 2 to 3 years
Eyeshadow 2 to 3 years
Powders (loose, pressed) 2 to 3 years
Eye pencil 2 years
Eyebrow pencil 2 years
Lipsticks and lip pencils 2 years
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Avoid using expired cosmetics!

We all have an old lipstick we rarely use or an eye liner we bought last year that's hiding in the bottom of our makeup bag. Here's something to remember: cosmetics, like food products, have expiry before dates that have to be kept in mind to avoid irritation or infection. Do you know the facts about product life? Here's a quick test.
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