Makeup can be tough to let go of sometimes. A certain lipstick you’ve had for years promises the perfect fuchsia—that is, whenever you happen to be in a fuchsia phase again. Or what about that six month-old mascara that cost you upwards of $40.00? Whether it’s because of sentimental value or the price you paid, it isn’t easy to toss out old makeup. But you should.

Here’s Why:
Makeup collects germs and bacteria through being exposed to the air, your (sometimes not perfectly clean) fingertips, and/or unwashed applicators. When expired makeup is used, eye and skin infections can result. The most common reactions include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Irritation (blistering, swelling, hives, etc.)
  • Staph infection (think stye on the eyelid)

Here’s How:
While some products can last a couple years, most need to be replaced after 3-12 months. Use these guidelines to help you know when to say goodbye to each type of product:

Powders (eyes shadows, blushes, etc.): 1-2 years. Every so often, take a tissue and swipe the surface to reveal fresher product.
Pencils (eye and lip): 1-2 years. Keep tips dry and sharp.
Foundation: up to 12 months — if you keep your fingers away from the bottle. Use a clean applicator brush or sponge to extend the life of your foundation.
Lipstick: up to 2 years. Wipe with tissue before use.
Mascara/Liquid Eyeliner: 3 months. The containers are breeding grounds for bacteria.

In addition to these guidelines, use common sense. If any product smells funny, or changes color or consistency, it’s time to replace it. The old saying works well here: “When in doubt, throw it out!” It’s also helpful to keep track of products by writing the date purchased in black magic marker.

Here’s to a new year and a new makeup collection! If you have any questions about skin care, or would like to schedule an appointment for one of our services, don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable aestheticians at Zimmet Vein & Dermatology. We look forward to hearing from you.