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Cleaning Out Old Cosmetics and Skincare for a Fresh Start

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Cleaning Out Old Cosmetics and Skincare for a Fresh Start

Why It’s Time for a Cosmetics Cleanout

I’ve realized my cosmetics drawer is overflowing with products, many of which are old and expired. It’s time for a cleanout! Outdated cosmetics can harbor bacteria and cause breakouts or reactions. Plus, keeping tons of unused products around is wasteful. A cleanout will help me start fresh with a curated collection of my staples and new favorites.

Here are some signs it’s time to get rid of old cosmetics:

  • Texture or smell has changed: Powders become hard, creams separate, fragrances smell “off.” This indicates deterioration.

  • Expired more than 3 years ago: Mascara, liquid liner, and cream/liquid products expire within 3 years of opening. Powders can last longer if texture hasn’t changed.

  • Packaging or formula looks different: Companies update packaging and formulas. If it looks different from a new version, toss it.

  • Rarely or never used: Toss unused items you bought on impulse or for an event. If I’m not using it, it’s just clutter.

Dangers of Using Expired Makeup

Using old, expired cosmetics, especially those used around delicate areas like eyes and lips, can pose health risks:

  • Bacterial growth: Moisture and warmth allow bacteria like staph and strep to multiply. These can cause infections.

  • Contaminants: Makeup can collect debris from storage, hands, and face. Bacteria feed on these contaminants.

  • Preservative breakdown: Preservatives have an effective lifespan. After that, they can’t inhibit bacterial growth.

  • Irritation and infection: Bacteria, contaminants, and breakdown of product itself can cause styes, conjunctivitis, acne, rashes, and more.

Tossing expired items greatly reduces these risks. Also, regularly washing brushes and replacing applicators helps keep bacteria away from eyes and skin.

How to Clean Out Cosmetics

Here are my tips for a successful cosmetics cleanout:

1. Gather Everything in One Place

  • Pull together all makeup, skincare, tools like brushes and sponges, and hair products.

  • Collect from bathroom, bedroom, purse, gym bag, travel bag, and any other storage spots.

2. Check Expiration Dates

  • Look at bottoms or backs of containers for a stamped expiration or “Period After Opening” symbol.

  • Toss mascara over 3 months old. Liquid liner and cream/liquid products over 3 years old should go too.

3. Inspect Condition

  • Check if powders are hard, creams separated, fragrances smell funny. Toss anything in poor condition.

  • Swatch test eye and lip products. Discard if color or texture seems off.

4. Declutter What You Don’t Use

  • If I haven’t used a product in over a year, I probably don’t need it. Toss it.

  • Get rid of extras like gift sets or trial sizes I never reach for.

5. Clean Storage Areas

  • Wipe down drawers, organizers, makeup bags with antibacterial wipes.

  • Replace old makeup sponges/brushes and toss anything heavily stained.

  • Use organizer trays to neatly arrange pared down collection.

6. Create an Inventory

  • Make a list of all products I’m keeping so I know what I have.

  • Group by type (face, eye, lip etc) and mark new purchase dates.

  • Update inventory when I buy new items. Check against it when cleaning out again.

Enjoy a Streamlined Routine

With my makeup drawer decluttered, I can begin my day with a simple, streamlined routine using products I truly love. No more digging through a mess of expired tubes and compacts! A clean start helps me apply my makeup more mindfully and creatively. I look forward to playing with new combinations and techniques. Plus my skin will be healthier without the bacteria accumulation of old products. This cleanout was so refreshing – I’m excited to see my favorite beauty items in crisp order. Maintaining an updated inventory will help me keep clutter away for good!

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