When is it time to throw your beauty products out?
WORDS BY CELESTE MARTINE
Everything you need to know about storing and caring for your beauty products.
I am a self-professed beauty enthusiast, I could tell you what the best skin tints are on the market or what lip product Hailey Bieber is wearing right now. I could even tell you the technique Euphoria’s makeup artists used on the cast during season two.
Where my knowledge starts to dwindle, however, is in the logistics. I’ve made the mistake of leaving my lipgloss in a hot car one too many times, and I constantly find myself wondering why my foundation doesn’t stay the same after spending winter in hibernation while I’ve been wearing no makeup. So, I found myself wondering, how do you know if your beauty products have expired?
I had the pleasure of interviewing Eleni Milionis, a Melbourne-based make-up artist with 13 years of experience, who’s worked for the likes of Mecca as a make-up artist and brand educator. We discussed everything you need to know about storing and caring for your beauty products, as well as knowing when it’s time to say that difficult goodbye.
What’s the best way to store your makeup?
Always store your makeup in a cool, dark spot. As a makeup artist, I take things in cases – it’s obviously convenient for travel, but it’s also a dark place out of direct sunlight. Even with fragrances, products expire much quicker in the heat. Powders are stronger in their lasting power but liquid bases are very temperamental so a darker place is going to be the best way to store it. Under the sink is usually the best place because remember, heat rises.
Are beauty fridges necessary, or more of a luxury for storing beauty products?
It’s a luxury and it’s a nice one but honestly, you don’t need to have a beauty fridge. I’m sure most people have a fridge in their house. If you have the finances and would love to buy a beauty fridge, that’s great. I just bought mine from Amazon to store my lash glue and lipsticks during the summer.
A dark, cool place is pretty much all you need to make your products last. If it’s really, really hot I might put my lipsticks in [a fridge] to stop them from melting. Heat will ruin a product… so, summer’s definitely the hardest [time] for the beauty industry [but] it’s also the busiest.
What’s the biggest difference between powder and liquid products in terms of storing and prolonging the use of a product?
You can afford to be a little bit cheeky when it comes to powders because any wet product can grow bacteria. Mascara has probably the highest risk of infection, but it’s like anything, if you have a leak in a roof and it’s there for a while, it’ll grow mould.
I’ve seen scandals about people finding mould in their beauty products after purchasing them. Can you tell me about this?
Yes! That’s because it’s a wet product. So this is really important, you could have made a purchase but that product may have been made six months ago – it should technically be right if stored correctly.
But, let’s say that product’s been shipped from America to Australia, you’ve had all this time of different temperatures. If it hasn’t been stored correctly, all of a sudden it’s six months to a year later and people are buying it and sending it off. You [might] have mould in there, you [might] have funny smells and textures.
Speaking of, how do you know when to get rid of a beauty product?
Every product has a little label detailing the expiry of the product. It’s not specific dates, but if you see 12M on the bottom, that means let it go 12 months after you’ve opened it. But [also], let it go when textures and smells are not right.
If you’ve had an infection… brushes need to be cleaned. If it’s a powder product, most of the time you’re safe because they don’t have that wet element to spread or grow bacteria. With lipstick, just cut off [its top] spray it with alcohol and then leave it.
The important thing is to leave it, even if the infection has cleared up, leave an additional two days. But, I mean as much as it sucks to dispose of products – in the sense of losing X amount of money – it’s probably going to cost you so much more [if] the infection spreads.
On that note, what are some of the risks associated with using expired beauty products?
So infections are the biggest one, but the problem isn’t just the infection, it’s how far could that infection actually go? Think of the cross-contamination that occurs when picking up and putting down products, especially when we’re talking about wet products that are so prone to carrying bacteria.
It’s really common to just keep reinfecting yourself unless you pretty much chuck it all out or disinfect everything. Heavily disinfect everything with alcohol and then leave it for a good amount of time until the infection clears. I would dispose [of the product], that’s how extreme I am.
What’s the best way to dispose of makeup?
Most [brands] are jumping onto recycling because… it doesn’t make sense not to recycle packaging. Mecca has a really good recycling program, but I’d say look into different brands because some do have reward systems, like ‘Recycle X amount of product and get a product free’.
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Do attractive people really have it easier? Unpacking the ‘halo effect’Want to be in the loop with the latest beauty secrets? Head to our Beauty section for more. What’s the best way to store your makeup?Are beauty fridges necessary, or more of a luxury for storing beauty products?What’s the biggest difference between powder and liquid products in terms of storing and prolonging the use of a product?I’ve seen scandals about people finding mould in their beauty products after purchasing them. Can you tell me about this?Speaking of, how do you know when to get rid of a beauty product?On that note, what are some of the risks associated with using expired beauty products?What’s the best way to dispose of makeup?