Cosmetic companies are not required to have an expiration date. Does that mean they don’t “expire?” Their effectiveness does diminish with age, but it depends on what they are made with and when it is opened as to when it should be tossed.
When you open a cosmetic product and expose it to the germy components of air, your cosmetic’s time clock starts. Bacteria replicates immediately. If the product provides conducive growing conditions, the bacteria flourishes. When the product is applied to the skin, it then can cause mild to severe skin reactions to the bacteria. Products for eyes have the shortest life because the creamy moist products create perfect conditions for bacterial development. Discard mascara and mascara-like products after three months. You can extend eyeshadow life by not dipping brushes directly into the product, reducing the introduction of bacteria.
Most people don’t realize that cosmetic firms print a tiny opened jar on the bottle of back labels. The number on it indicates how long the product is optimal after opened. Few of us can remember when we first open a product. Take the time to jot the date on the label with permanent marker.
Cosmetics with an oil base such as cleansing cream, some foundations and concealers, some moisturizers, and lipsticks usually last about a year. After a year, discard if you smell a rancid odor. Extend oil-based products by refrigerating.
Foundations usually have a 12 month after opening advisory. Avoid temperature fluctuations to prevent separation of elements.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 South Texas Avenue, Bryan one mile north of University 979 268 0608, www fitzyou.com.