Spring Cleaning: How to Refresh Your Beauty Routine
The Marie Kondo method of cleaning and organizing is taking over the world and most likely many of our conversations! Kondo’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been published in more than 30 countries. It was a best-seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 2014.
Since then, she has written three other books describing her methods, which although detailed, are actually quite simple; for instance, picking up an object and asking if it sparks joy. Simple right?
Well, your moisturizer might spark joy but unfortunately it's not enough to know whether or not it is still effective.
So what is the rule when it comes to your beauty cabinet?
Let’s start with natural skincare.
While we love clean beauty products, we have to keep in mind that they are made with natural ingredients extracted from plants, flowers or food. Since they are free of chemical preservatives, their shelf life are usually shorter than conventional products.
Our tip is to always keep the products in a cool and dry place. During spring or summer time, it might also be helpful to keep them in the fridge as it is vivifying, cooling and has a de-puffing effect especially for eye creams and gels.
As long as the products are sealed, they are safe for up to a year but once opened the average time is 6 months for cleansers and moisturizers as they generally contain water, hence prone to bacterial contamination. Serums may last up to a year, but after that the active ingredients like Vitamin C will most likely lose some of their stability or potency.
Sunscreen, lasts the longest in this category - up to two years if kept away from the sun and heat, as those elements can break down the active ingredients making it ineffective.
In general, if you notice a change in color, texture or smell in any of your products, it means it is time to toss! Another good tip is to always look for the period-after-opening (PAO) symbol to keep track.
Now, what about make up?
Sonia Kashuk, a renowned makeup artist, says that mascara is only good for six months. This should be taken into consideration not just because of flaking and dryness but also because of bacteria.
Not sure if it’s time to toss it? Having reservations is probably a good indication that it’s time for it to go; but, just to be extra sure, give the tube a sniff. For instance, expired mascara has a distinctly foul smell which is a dead give-away.
Here a few helpful timelines for other products.
- Foundation/Concealer: 1 year, however if you have a sponge-style foundation or a cream-based one that requires you to re-dip your fingers or sponge blenders into it, cut yourself off at six months as they are more easily contaminated with acne, causing bacteria or yeast.
- Lipstick: 2 years. Easier to track if it's dried out, looks cracked or the color changes due to exposure to skin oils, bacteria and oxygen.
- Any powder (eyeshadow, blush) can last a few years if they are not broken just look out for a change in color.
Also, don't forget to reboot your tools. When it comes to make up, perhaps the most important step is to keep your brushes, sponge and make-up bag clean. When was the last time you gave these items a good wash?
Don’t underestimate this step. Dirty makeup brushes or sponges can harbor bacteria that will cause breakouts. There are a handful of brush cleansers on the market that you can use for a good reboot, although many women swear by a bit of baby soap and water!
The next thing to consider is our seasonal needs.
Our skin is sensitive to a change of climate and has different needs depending on the time of year. Usually we need more hydration in the winter to banish dry skin and in the summer, we might want to reach for a moisturizer that offers some protection from the sun and other environmental elements. We also tend to wear more make up during winter but go lighter on products during summer.
In terms of seasonal changes, it also makes sense to pare down on duplicates, get rid of season-specific colors, or that new trendy color you can’t get yourself to love! Just like we “summer-ize” or “winter-ize” our wardrobes, we need to make sure our cosmetics and skincare fit our seasonal needs as well.