We’ve all had that moment – you’re looking in the refrigerator and stumble across something that is long past its expiry date. You open it to peek and suddenly have a throwback memory to the disgusting growth in a petri dish from seventh grade science class.
Just like the refrigerator, your make-up kit needs a regular clean out, too.
Over time, your make-up can become contaminated with bacteria which may lead to irritation and infections.
So, how do you know when it’s time to throw something out?
“My rule of thumb is to discard most make-up products one year after opening,” says Dr. Wendy Smeltzer, Medical Director for INLIV and the Medical Aesthetics Department. “Except when it comes to mascara, and liquid and gel eyeliners. Anything you’re applying that close to your eye, you want to be very careful to avoid the risk of eye infections.”
As the new client coordinator for the INLIV Medical Aesthetics team and a trained make-up artist, I have a few suggestions, too. Mascara goes bad in a very short amount of time because each time you use it, you pump air into the tube. This dries the product out, creating those clumps that ruin the application. Toss it out as soon as it starts to clump; it’s not going to get better from there. And the second mascara or anything in your make-up kit smells weird, toss it – immediately!
Here are some general guidelines when you’re evaluating your make-up stash:
- Powder – foundation, blush, bronzer, eye shadow – 2 years
- Concealer – 12 – 18 months
- Cream shadows and blushes – 12 – 18 months
- Foundation – 12 – 18 months
- Lip gloss – 18 months
- Lipstick and lip liner – once a year
- Liquid or gel eyeliner – 3 months
- Mascara – 3 months; sooner if it starts to clump
At INLIV, Jane Iredale mineral make-up is our preferred brand, for a number of reasons.
- Mineral make-up doesn’t breed bacteria
- Allows your skin to breathe
- Light-reflective, making it ideal for aging skin
- No synthetic fragrance
- No petroleum-based colorants
- Non-irritating; great for those with sensitive skin
- Can be used on skin after treatments where the skin is more sensitive, like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and injectable treatments
And don’t neglect the importance of using the proper tools for makeup application and keeping them clean. INLIV has an assortment of brush cleaners to keep your make-up tools fresh and free from bacteria.
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Born and raised in Calgary, Raeshell is a make-up artist, having attained her undergrad from Blanche MacDonald Centre for Applied Design in Vancouver. She has worked for independent short films, movie and TV sets, photo shoots and commercials and was a downhill racer for the Nancy Green Organization.