Spring Clean your Skincare & Make-up

acne expiration dates

Raise your hand if you love spring! Dewy tulips and purple crocuses have appeared and have signalled that warmer weather, oversized sunglasses, and sun-kissed days are not far away. Not only does the end of the colder days offer us an excuse to pull out our favorite jean jacket, but it also gives us a chance to do some spring cleaning of our skincare routines. With the change of seasons, comes the signal to change up some things in our lives! Let’s do this! 

Personally, I like to go through my stash of products and makeup bag every spring and fall and dispose of everything that’s expired. Old skincare and makeup can collect bacteria, which can lead to breakouts and even infections. No thanks! Not only that, oils over time can become rancid and in that, their nutritional antioxidant properties deteriorate, making the products ineffective. 

But where to start? How do you know what to look for? Here are some general guidelines for when to discard your beauty products:

  • Check for actual expiration dates
  • mascara: 3 to 6 months
  • cream or liquid-based makeup (like foundation and concealer): 6 months – 1 year
  • powder makeup: 2 to 3 years
  • lip products (excluding lip balm): 2 to 3 years
  • lip balm: 1 year
  • cleansers: 1 year
  • toners: 6 months – 1 year
  • moisturizers and serums: 6 months – 1 year

Another helpful way to determine how long to keep a product after it has been opened is to check the PAO (Product After Opening) symbol. This symbol is usually found on the back of your beauty products (and although silly, can also be found on the exterior packaging boxes), along with the number of months the products can be opened before it expires. It usually looks like the symbol below:

Now that you have cleaned out your skincare stash, what to do with all those containers and how do you properly dispose of them…. 

Decoding recycling really is another post altogether but here are some quick tips and resources: 

  1. Find out what can be recycled in your area. (Kitchener-Waterloo folks… we don’t actually recycle glass in our region).
  2. Examine product labels to see what can actually be recycled. 
  3. Remember, you must rinse and wash. 
  4. Check into whether the brands have in-house recycling programs. (Cocoon Apothecary takes back their bottles and we take them back too!)
  5. Try to locate a TerraCycle partner. (Pssst, we are one!)

Clearing allows for newness, so although cleaning up sounds like a chore, the payoff is so rewarding! And remember, to preserve your products, be sure to regularly clean your brushes and tools. And if you have products that are not yet expired but don’t get used regularly in rotation, consider donating (unopened) or giving them to friends and family. 

Keeping your skincare and beauty products fresh, is a sure way to keep your skin looking fresh!

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  • Pat on

    What kinds of things to you take back with TerraCycle?

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