Cosmetics Danger – Expired Make-Up
By Funmi Azike
Usually cosmetic products contain preservatives that help keep ingredients from going bad. However, heat and exposure to bacteria can accelerate the degeneration process thus reducing the effectiveness and shelf-life of the product. Expired/contaminated cosmetic products can cause serious problems including rash, irritation and/or infection. It is important to check your make-up items from time to time and get rid of the ones that can cause trouble. Below is a general guide on the ideal lifespan of common make-up items.
Yes I know! You bought it in the UK and can’t find the original in Nigeria. Please ma, check the expiry date, does it even have one? Unfortunately most cosmetic products especially the ones in small containers such as mascaras don’t usually have their expiry dates clearly stated which encourages us to keep them for long even after we notice signs of deterioration like clumping, dryness and unusual smell. But the lack of properly stated expiry date is no justification to keep using them on and on. Mascaras are a great breeding ground for bacteria due to the moist and dark environment they provide. Using mascara after six months increases your chances of developing conjunctivitis and other inflammatory conditions.
You know what you need to do now – Stop adding water/spit (unbelievable right?) into that old mascara, you are only introducing bacteria to it. Please throw it away before you go blind from complications associated with constant eye infections. Do not forget to change the new one in six months irrespective of the price or what the label says.
Mascaras are not alone when it comes to eye troubles. Eyeliners can also cause eye problems if contaminated/expired especially the liquid eyeliners. Ideally, liquid eyeliners should not be used for more than three months but if you are hygienic, you can extend it up to six months. On the other hand, pencil eyeliners can last as long as two years but it is safer to throw it out after a year of use. While in use, avoid proliferation of bacteria by sharpening your pencil eyeliners before use.
You guessed right, these don’t carry too much risk and can last for up to two years. Still, while in use, sharpen regularly and avoid sharing. Sharing make-up items can cause bacteria to be transferred from one person to the other.
I know a lot of women will find this difficult because they are so attached to the eye shadows that flatter them the most. I know it was the eye shadow you were wearing when you met your husband but three kids later, are you not willing to try other products? Cream eye shadows should be thrown out after a year while the powder types after two years.
Cream/Liquid Concealers & Foundations
I know what you are about to say, ‘Funmi don’t go there, I bought that foundation for 18k and am definitely going to use it to the last drop’. No problem! As long as you set aside some money for treatments of cosmetic rash, breakouts and other forms of skin infections that can come about from using old Concealers and foundations. Irrespective of their price, please toss after one year of use.
Powders & Blush
These generally have a longer shelf life because they do not contain water. They can be used for up to two years. However wrong or unhygienic use of powder puffs/brushes can lead to contamination which can cause breakouts and other forms of skin irritations.
Expired/Contaminated Lipstick is not only capable of causing irritation but can lead to systemic poisoning of the body. Yes! Poison! There is no compromise, just toss it after a year.
Note: You do not have to wait for the above stated period before discarding a cosmetic product. Once you notice signs of deterioration like change of colour, clumping, separating, dryness unusual smell or taste, don’t hesitate to throw it away. The overall health of your skin is more important that the temporary glamour a bad cosmetic product will give you. Please feel free to write me if you have questions or comments as regards this topic. I would love to hear from you. Till next week, stay beautiful!