Recently, I had a mini scare whilst doing my makeup (as you do). Surprisingly, it was not stabbing my eye with a mascara (I can’t see, I can’t see) or winging the eyeliner only to find out it covers half of my eye. When I put a small pump of foundation onto the palm of my hand, I discovered it went off. It turned very watery and in general looked like a bird pooped on my hand. Gross. In addition to that, it had a quite nasty smell. It has never happened to me before, so I decided to do some digging and share my newly discovered knowledge with you.
Fasten your seatbelts, we’re going for a crazy ride.
If you think that you can ignore any expiry date of any product in your life – well, you’re not entirely right. How many of you are guilty of not checking the use by date on products when doing grocery shopping? I can easily raise my hand for that one. I’m slowly developing a habit of checking it, because off-food gives me anxiety, plus it’s a waste of money. And nobody likes that. Expiry dates are a thing we associate with food. And this is the biggest mistake. Because beauty products also have the ‘use by’ dates.
I’ll admit it straight away. I have never checked how long I can use certain makeup products for. I’m poor, I don’t have time to run to the store every other month to buy a new mascara. For me, expiry date used to be more of a guideline. I’m working on that. Here’s why.
Makeup is made of many chemicals. I’m not going to get into scientific ingredients because I’d need a PhD in Chemistry and I’m pretty confident I’d still say the names wrong. After the expiry date, these chemicals start breaking down into different chemicals. These may or may not be so good for your skin (with the emphasis on may not). Using your makeup longer than the producers advise to may result in breaking out and skin irritation. But that’s not all. This skin irritation can very quickly turn into contact dermatitis. And then you’ll end up with dry and scaly skin, rash, loads of pain and scratching… Even scarring. Do you really want to take that risk?
It’s easy to see when your food is overkept. It gets weird, mushy, sometimes has loads of furry friends moving in… It’s not so visible with makeup. But if you know what to look for, you’ll be able to spot it as well. The first thing you should look for is this little sign.
It’s called ‘PAO’ which stands for ‘Product After Opening’. It always has a number followed by little ‘m’ inside it. This stands for the amount of months the product can be used for after you break the seal and open it. Another thing, you should look for is changes in your products. If your mascara is getting clumpy or, God forbid, smelly – time to say goodbye. If your foundation starts separating, gets runny or, God forbid, smelly – say farewell to this one. And so on. If you know your products, you’ll know when they change. And I don’t think anyone would actually put anything that has a funny smell on their face.
It is really important to keep an eye on the expiry date of your makeup. Even if you feel bad about tossing something away, think about all the treatments you’d have to get and visits to the doctors if your skin reacted badly to it. Not to mention the time it would take to heal it. My advice would be to write down on the actual product the month and year of opening. Or to have a special notebook (oh, do I love stationary, any excuse to buy more) and make it all pretty and shiny and write it down in there if you’ve got time and patience (I don’t).
I’m leaving you with that info for now. Enjoy the rest of your crazy ride called life (oh I’m getting so philosophical).
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Have you ever checked your makeup expiry date?