Makeup hygiene tips and warnings from a makeup artist

Please don’t hold on to expired makeup (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Parting from your favourite makeup products when they’ve expired might feel like a waste, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

According to research by Drench, you can expect to spend an average of £346.50 a year replacing expired makeup.

If you’re not keen on that figure, the only thing for it is either swapping your products out for more budget-friendly options, or ditching some or all of your makeup, because holding on to products that are past their best is not a good idea.

As tempting as it may be to try and make your makeup last as long as possible, expiration dates are there for a very good reason, because expired makeup can wreak havoc on your skin and even cause eye infections.

‘Liquid and cream products can harbour bacteria, especially if they’re in a jar, and you’re using your fingers to remove the product,’ makeup artist and beauty blogger Joyce Connor warns.

‘Old makeup can cause breakouts, irritation and even skin sensitivity.

‘Old mascara can cause eye infections and irritation. If you do get an eye irritation whilst using mascara you should dispose of that product immediately and purchase a new one.

‘Wash your hands before applying makeup and use a spatula to remove product from jars whenever possible.’

Wash your hands before you start (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

While we’d like things to be as simple as looking at the label for an expiration date, it’s not uncommon to find they’ve worn off our favourite products – especially the ones we keep in our bags to use every day.

If your memory’s a bit fuzzy on the date you first opened it, Joyce says: ‘Mascara makes a plop sound when it’s fresh and still useable, when you stop hearing that sound you know it’s time for a new one.’

Previously, we’ve also been told by makeup artists that the general lifespan of mascara is around three months, due to the increased risk of bacterial infection.

Joyce adds: ‘You can also use smell and test the texture to tell if the product is still useable. If the product doesn’t smell the same anymore it is probably past it’s best.

‘Waxy and fishy smelling makeup is a sign that it should no longer be used.

‘Liquid foundations tend to separate into oil at the bottom and water on the top.’

Joyce says it’s also a good idea to make a note of when you open your makeup for the first time on the side of the container.

She added: ‘All cosmetics have a little jar on the side of the container with an open jar symbol and the number of months it expires by inside the symbol.

‘Liquids and creams all have a best before expiration date.

‘Powder based cosmetics can last for years.’

If you want to keep your makeup fresh for as long as possible, Joyce recommends: ‘Keeping up your makeup out of extreme temperature changes helps to improve its longevity.’

Don’t forget to keep brushes and sponges clean too (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

One aspect of makeup hygiene that often falls by the wayside is keeping brushes and sponges clean, but it’s not something you want to forget.

Joyce says: ‘You should aim to wash your makeup sponge every time you use it, especially if you’re using an oil based foundation.

‘You should change your makeup sponge every three months if used daily. The centre of the sponge can form a build up of bacteria if not thoroughly cleaned regularly.

‘Makeup brushes should be washed weekly and left to dry overnight, even if you’re spot cleaning them daily.

‘Good quality makeup brushes can last for years if cleaned regularly and left to dry on their side away from direct heat, as this can loosen the glue in the ferrule.

‘When the brush starts shedding too much hair it’s time for a new one.

‘Use a brush/sponge cleaner or a mild shampoo to wash them. It will depend on if the brushes are synthetic.

‘If they are, then an oil cleanser followed by an antibacterial washing up liquid will do the job.

‘Look to use a mild shampoo for those natural haired brushes.’

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