Thursday, February 17, 2011

Silly Bee's Beauty- Use It & Lose It

You know when your makeup has gone bad--it separates, it dries out, it changes color and it smells weird.  But, what you may not know is that your makeup has probably "gone bad" before any of those tell-tale signs.  Just like food and batteries, makeup has a shelf life and sometimes it's written right on the package.

Have you ever noticed the little picture of the jar on the bottom of your concealer? That's called the Period After Opening PAO symbol and it refers to the number of months the product is safe to use.  The main concern is airborne bacteria which gets to your product the second you open it.  A little bacteria isn't bad, but after a certain amount of time it's best not to risk it.

Expiration dates aren't exact of course, and they vary from source to source, but it's a good idea to keep your eye on them and err on the side of caution.  Let's say you have a glittery liquid eyeliner that you only use once in a while. It doesn't matter how many times you've used it, if it's a year old, you need to chunk it.

European cosmetic companies are required to print a PAO icon on their packaging, but not American companies.  So, what if your makeup doesn't have it?  Use the list below, which I gathered from several sources including the FDA and Good Housekeeping, as a reference for approximate shelf life values.  Once you've established a product's expiration date, write it on the tube with a Sharpie.  Better safe than germie!

Liquid Products:
•  Mascara & eyeliner: 3 months
•  Foundation: 6-12 months
•  Lipsticks & glosses: 1 year

Cream products:
•  foundation & blush: 6-12 months
•  eyeshadow & eyeliner: 6 months

Powder products:
•  face powder & blush: 2 years
•  eyeshadow: 6 months

•  lip & eyeliner:  1-2 years (away from heat & sharpened regularly)

Nail polish: 1 year

And another thing...

•  Don't add water to products, not only will it add bacteria, but it may change the composition of the formula.
•  Don't use self-serve testers at stores. If you must try out a color, put it on the back of your hand and take it off with antibacterial soap or wipes.
•  Don't pump your mascara, adding air will add bacteria and dry out your product.
•  Don't neglect your brushes. Deep clean them once a week and wipe them down every day with anti-bacterial wipes.

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