With the arrival of spring, at long last, we plunge into our tradition purge of elements of winter and welcome the new, freshness of spring. Along with the seasonal cleaning, changing from winter to spring/summer clothes and accessories this is the time to purge those old cosmetics.
Until I started using Arbonne, I had items lurking in a drawer dating back to some unknown year. And my rational was, “This was expensive and is only half gone so I hate to throw it away.” I imagine many of you have the same dilemma so I wanted to share a recent interview with Jaklin Adris, North American director of education for the Darphin label, owned by Estee Lauder. As you can imagine, she acquires a lot of different products so her guidelines were especially meaningful for me.
If a product has not been opened, three years is a good guideline. Most all cosmetics are formulated to last that long. If the product has been opened, it should be used within 24 months. Products for the eyes have a more gentle preservative so that the sensitive area around the eye is not irritated but they do not last as long. She recommends using eye products within six months or discarding them but I have heard people in the cosmetic field recommend discarding eye products , especially mascara, within three months as it is more prone to pick up bacteria on the wand. I recommend using a spatula rather than dipping your fingers into any cream to avoid bacterial contamination.
It is a myth about storing cosmetics in the refrigerator to extend their life, however, keeping them in a cool space is a good idea. Being kept in a cupboard in the bathroom is better than keeping them exposed to the heat and moisture of the shower. Closing the caps tightly after use will help prevent the products from drying out and forming a crust on top. If you have a cream that has formed such a crust, Ms. Jaklin says she scrapes it off and stirs the remaining cream. Then she uses it on her feet or other areas of the body but not on the face. Exposure to extreme temperature changes can damage products so be aware of any change in texture or odor. If you have ever left your purse in the car on a hot day, you have experienced what intense heat will do to lipstick and other similar products!
I found most of these suggestions match the routine that I use. It helps to have a product that you like and that works for your skin. Then you will have far fewer mistakes that might sit in your drawer unused. By choosing only those items that you know you will use and avoiding impulse purchases of an untried product, you will save money and lots of guilt by not having an expensive, unused bottle “of” in your drawer.