Unknown threats hiding in your make-up bag could be hazardous to your health.

Besides contamination from germs and daily dirt and grime, we also have to worry about potential allergens and scary chemicals that have been linked to cancer, respiratory illness, and more.

Now is the perfect time to not only give your body a well deserved detox but also to give your cosmetic cabinet and makeup bag a good clean.

Just like the food in your kitchen, your skincare and cosmetic products too come with an expiration date. And with the hot weather arrived, it’s even more important to keep your skincare and cosmetic products up-to-date.

If your cosmetic cabinet or makeup bag has seen better days, it’s time for a spring clean. Here are some tips on what to look for:

Foundation: If you notice that your water-based products such as foundation and concealer slowly change their colour and the liquids separate, it’s a sure sign that they have reached the end of their shelf life.

Powder-based products such as blush and foundation usually last much longer than their liquid counterparts, because it’s much more difficult for bacteria to grow in them.

If they appear moist or ‘cakey’ this may be because moisture has penetrated the powder, which means it’s time to throw them away! Be sure to keep those products out of direct sunlight as UV rays are capable of destroying preservatives, which will make your cosmetic products spoil quicker.

Lipstick and lip gloss: If you notice your lipstick is getting difficult to spread and your lip gloss is becoming blobby, it’s time to throw it away. Prolong the life of your lip gloss and lipstick by ensuring the product is always sealed correctly after use.

Liquid liners and mascara: With each use of mascara and liquid eye liner, bacteria can often build up inside the tube. Expired mascara is known to cause serious eye infections, so don’t hang on to your favourite mascara if it has become difficult to apply.

Eye shadow: By gently cleaning your eye shadow brush frequently or after use will significantly prolong its shelf-life and prevent bacteria growth. If your eye shadow becomes dry or flaky it may be a sign to throw it away.

Nail polish: When nail polish starts to separate and to look like a different colour; and perhaps even smells a little stronger than usual it’s time to ditch it.

Lotions and moisturisers: In general, all beauty products should be kept in a cool, dry environment but certainly not deep in a handbag that’s left in the car on a sunny day. Creams, moisturisers and lotions usually have a shelf-life of three to six months and some up to 12 months but once it reaches the best before date, it’s time to say goodbye. To make the most of your beauty products, try dipping your fingers into jars only with clean hands. Unless the product is packaged in an airtight pump, bacteria on your fingers and moisture from the shower can contaminate the product.

Makeup brushes, sponges and tools: Always keep your eyelash curlers and tweezers clean by applying small drops of eye makeup remover and gently wipe the excess residue with a makeup remover pad or a clean piece of tissue. Once clean, quickly rinse thoroughly with warm water.

In order to keep your makeup sponges, brushes and other tools as new, it’s recommended to wash them once a week. If your skin is prone to frequent breakouts or even acne, you should make an effort to wash them every day. Brushes and sponges may need a few hours to dry naturally, so clean them when you know you won’t use them for a while.

So, with most of us at this time of year having an instinctive urge to rid ourselves of clutter and scrub away the dirt, it’s certainly a perfect opportunity to clean out your cosmetic cabinet and make-up bag.

Our tips should help you to keep a fresh set of products and tools to brighten up your summer and your skin too, knowing that all products you are putting on your skin are clean, healthy and nourishing.

Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • I really need to do this! I need to buy née mascara and throw out the old badly!!


  • Gee you just dont realise that makeup goes off so lucky I dont use it


  • I didn’t realise make up went off but it makes sense! This is why I rarely wear anything so I don’t have to worry about the impact on my skin (particularly with eczema)


  • I never knew half of these tips but since I don’t use make-up now it’s not a problem for me. Will certainly pass this on to DIL and Granddaughters


  • As a rule, mascara should be tossed out after three months. I regularly check my skincare products and makeup to make sure it’s still good to use.


  • This is great reminder i didn’t use make up for long time. Sure they all expired.


  • I don’t wear make up often, so most of it is a waste of money because it gets ditched before it is all used …. I do love nail polish and mascara though ….


  • I dont have enough make up to even warrant a make up bag! (Also a severe lack of time to paint my face and I dont really know how to use it effectively anyway!)… To those who want to wear full war paint and false eyelashes – good on you, not throwing shade, just saying my work place and life style dont expect it, and my last tube of foundation (which got used perhaps 4 x in a year) is about 2 years old! lol.


  • It’s hard when I have a load of make-up (much of it gifted) and yet I hardly wear it. Therefore, it can often be used a couple of times and then we considered out-of-date.


  • The easiest way to keep your make up bag free of germs and allergens and chemicals is by not using make-up :)


  • I have way too many cosmetics in my collection that need to go a good clean out is needed


  • Definitely look at the product packaging that tells you how long you have once opened


  • It’s really hard to throw out things that look okay – but yes, I know germs aren’t visible…


  • So many things to look out for and definitely need to throw out some things.


  • Definitely need to clean my makeup sponge!
    I only have one now because my cat attacked the other two and put holes all over them.
    Definitely need to invest in some more.


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