Most of us feel elated to show the collection of lipper, nail enamels, and other cosmetics items we have, overlooking the number of years they have been adorning our dressing table. Experts say that like other consumables, cosmetics too have a shelf life and should be discarded after a period of time, else they can have visible and sometimes irreparable side-effects on our skin. Storing them at temperatures above 30-35 degrees can also be harmful.
Here’s a list of cosmetic items and their average shelf life:
Liquid foundation: Shelf life — two years. Needs to be replaced when oil separation occurs, else it causes skin irritation and pigmentation.
Lipstick: Shelf life — two to three years. Needs to be replaced when beads of oil appear on the sides of the lipstick. Oil-based lipsticks last longer. Application of expired lipstick can affect the natural colour of your lips.
Eye shadow and pressed face powder: Shelf life— two to three years. When the powder begins to flake, it is time to replace it, else it causes skin irritation and acne.
Liquid mascara and eyeliner: Shelf life — three months. It’s easy for these products to be contaminated by bacteria, causing eye infections. Do not share make-up, or expose cosmetics to sunlight.
Eye pencil: Shelf life — approximately two years. Eye pencils with a wax base last longer as bacteria don’t grow on wax. Using old eye pencils will lead to eye infections.
Blush-on: Shelf life — two years. If it cracks without reason, then it is safer to dispose it and buy another one. Using old blush-on will cause skin irritation.
Mascara: Discard dried-up mascara. Adding water may introduce bacteria and will dilute the preservative that is intended to protect against microbial growth.
With inputs from Aashmeen Munjaal, Dinaz of Shiseido, Dr Dr Naresh Arora, Chase Aroma and skin care
Keep in mind
It is important to cover all cosmetics tightly after use so that they are not exposed to sunlight.Use of expired cosmetics can lead to varied reactions such as swelling, inflammation and rashes. It’s best to consult a doctor if it happens. You can try to soothe the effected area with Betnovate or lactocalamine cream.