When was the last time that you checked your make up? These days it’s hard to throw things out because money can be tight but you really should reconsider that because you aren’t getting the full effects of the product that you bought. If you have had any eye infections, for example, do yourself a favor and discard all products that you used prior to. Days off, co-pays, antibiotics, etc. are far more expensive than replacing it all.

According to a March 9, 2000, FDA report (revised October 15, 2002), “Consumers should be aware that expiration dates are simply ‘rules of thumb,’ and that a product’s safety may expire long before the expiration date if the product has not been properly stored. Cosmetics that have been improperly stored – for example, exposed to high temperatures or sunlight, or opened and examined by consumers prior to final sale – may deteriorate substantially before the expiration date. On the other hand, products stored under ideal conditions may be acceptable long after the expiration date has been reached.”

Here is a guideline to help you determine when it’s time to toss out old makeup:

Foundation: 3-6 months

Concealer: Wand applicator concealers should be tossed within 6 months since they’re likely to grow bacteria. Stick, twist-up tubes, or compact concealers can last up to 12 months, especially if you use a makeup brush to apply the product.

Pressed powder cosmetics: Facial powder, blush and eyeshadow should be thrown out after one year. If you get an eye infection, however, you’ll have to toss out any eyeshadow you’ve used, to avoid re-infecting yourself.

Lip gloss and lipstick: 1 year

Mascara: You should always replace mascara after 3 months. And toss it immediately if it becomes dry, or you develop an eye infection. Remember: Never, ever
share mascara!

Eye and lip pencils: If you sharpen them every few days, makeup pencils can last a year or longer. It’s time to trash them when they become dry, crumbly, and hard to apply.

All-natural cosmetics: Because these products do not contain preservatives, they should be used or discarded within 6 months.

Here are some more tips that will help you make the most of your makeup:
1. Don’t ever share cosmetics.
2. Don’t put your fingers into the product. Use the applicator
provided, or a makeup sponge.
3. Keep containers tightly closed, and store them in a cool, dry place.
4. Don’t use water or saliva to ease the application of a product. Doing so
introduces bacteria into the product, which can cause a host of problems.
5. Immediately toss the product out if there is a change of color, texture,
or consistency; if the ingredients settle or separate; or if an odor develops.

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