Life span of beauty products: Part 2

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Thursday, January 16, 2014


CONTINUING where we left off, here are more guidelines for when to toss your beauty products and tools.

Bath Loofah: 3 months

Hang it out to dry in between uses. Moist cloths, sponges and loofahs are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Ew!

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Shaving Razors: 3 to 5 uses

Using a disposable razor more than 5 times will probably mean that you have to press down harder on your skin to remove hair. Change it regularly to make sure you get a close shave every time and avoid ingrown hairs and irritating your skin.

Makeup Sponges: 1 month to 1 year

You can extend the life of cheap makeup sponges by washing them and reusing them, but toss them once they start to crumble or fall apart. Good quality sponges tend to cost more, but will last longer.

Moisturizer and Body Lotion: 2 years

You’ll know these are spoiled once they start becoming watery or get lumps in them.

Buy new sunblock or SPF products regularly to make sure the ingredients for sun protection are still active. Organic or all-natural products will spoil faster.

Anti-aging Products: 1 year

The active ingredients in these are usually meant to last for 12 months. After that, although they will most likely not harm your skin, they will probably become less effective.

Nail Polish: 2 years

If your nail polish starts to clump or harden sooner than that, use nail polish solvent (not remover) to help it liquefy again.

Perfume: 3 years

Most perfumes lose their potency after three years. You will notice the liquid may turn yellow, change in smell or have small particles floating in them. If you don’t absolutely love a fragrance and are not sure you can use it up in three years, save your money and buy a smaller bottle instead.

To be honest, I’ve broken the rule with strictly following the shelf life of some products, because I disinfect them and wash my brushes and tools regularly. To help products stay fresh longer, keep them away from direct sunlight, because heat can break down preservatives and other ingredients.

The general rule is, toss it out as soon as it smells bad, looks funny, irritates skin, or just stops working as it’s supposed to, whether it’s before or after the indicated shelf life. Otherwise, they are still safe to apply, but hurry up and use them!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2014.

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