Let’s face it, we all have a pile of make-up stashed away that we never use but always think it may come in handy one day.

Buried away for months or even years, it has most likely past its peak.

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Similar to food, cosmetics have an expiry date. Once opened, they must be used in a certain period of time to gain the full benefits. Use them too long after opening and your products can start to have a detrimental effect. When using products past their expiry date it can result in minor skin issues, break outs and infections. Unfortunately, most products don’t provide you with the best before date and it’s a hassle trying to figure it out.

Obviously, if you notice a change in colour, smell and texture you should not use it. However, the signs aren’t always that noticeable – that is where my guide to expiry dates will help you pluck away the already perished.

When following these guidelines make sure to relate it to when the product was first opened.

Expiration dates:

Powder based products and eye shadows–2 years.

Cream eye shadows and cream blushers–1 year to 18 months.

Foundation and concealer– 1 year (do not use if it has a bad odour before 1 year.)

Lipsticks and lip liners– 1 year (or immediately if you have a cold sore).

Mascara and eyeliners– 3 months (or immediately if you have an eye infection or your mascara has dried out).

Skincare (eye cream, cleanser, serums)– 1 year to 18 months (do not use if colour or smell has changed).

How to keep your products in tip top condition:

-          I always recommend storing all your products in a cupboard or a cool, dry place.

-          Ensure that your products are always closed tight, to reduce the growth of bacteria.

-          Always keep your products out of direct sun light.

-          Do not try to add water, oil or other liquids to prolong shelf life.

Do note that some manufacturers may provide you with expiry dates that may be longer than I have advised; this can be due to the ingredients they have used in their products to expand their shelf life. However, always be wary of the smell and colour when your products are reaching the time frame that I have provided.

Don’t be a cosmetics hoarder and be sure to give your bathroom cabinets a spring clean!