Are Your Beauty Products Expired?
You wouldn't drink sour milk, so why would you use beauty products past their prime? Find out what should be tossed -- and when
Shadow is tricky because it is being used on an open part of the body -- the eye. If it is powder and you are using clean brushes to apply, then you are safe to hold on to them for up to a year. To keep brushes clean, wash about every week with a mild shampoo or cleanser or you can buy a professional blush cleaner. If you're using your finger to apply a cream eyeshadow, toss it after six months.
Bath oils and shower gels
These are usually formulated with "natural oils and other natural ingredients [which] are more prone to oxidation and hydrolysis, thereby shortening the shelf life of the product," says hair and scalp expert Philip B.
The "active ingredients will remain effective for 12 months, if kept in a cool place," says Jennifer Taylor, creator of Smart Girls Who Surf. But, she warns "when you leave your tube of sunscreen on your towel, or in your car, it heats up [and] not only does it change the viscosity of the formula, but it affects the active ingredients (especially [the] chemicals) and may cause them to be less effective in preventing sun damage." Telltale signs that your SPF has expired: it's turned from white to yellow, it smells "medicine-like," or starts to come out runny, says Taylor.
Foundation and blush can typically last up to 12 months as long as you are using clean brushes and sponges to apply them, says Cromwell. Keep your fingers out of your makeup to keep bacteria at bay.
SEE NEXT PAGE: Beauty products to toss at six months to a year
Health & beauty
Health & beauty