Toxic Beauty: Safe ways to Keep your Makeup Fresh

Toxic Beauty: Safe ways to Keep your Makeup Fresh

You can protect yourself using these guidelines for an average shelf life limit on your favorite makeup items.

Lip Products
Lipsticks are mixtures of oils, waxes and pigments that typically carry a maximum shelf life of two years. Just because lipsticks can last for years doesn’t mean you should use them for more than one, according Snyder. Sadly, a top-dollar tube of Chanel is no exception — the quality and safety of makeup decreases with time no matter how much it costs.

Eye Color
Each time you pump your mascara wand, you send a puff of germ-filled air inside the tube. Even in brands formulated with antibacterial agents, mascara should be swapped out every three months. Buy yourself a bulk four-pack at the beginning of the year and set a quarterly reminder for this beauty ritual.

In the worst-case scenario, contaminated mascara can cause pseudomonas aeruginosa, a corneal infection that causes permanent vision damage.

Pencils and eyeshadow should be replaced after six months.

Concealers and Foundation
Foundation expiration dates can vary as much by its formulation as its packaging. When capped and properly stored, a concealer can last as long as a year. Cream foundations maintain their quality for four to six months, while liquid is best used in three to six months. Foundation packaged in a wide-mouth jar is more exposed to airborne bacteria, so it may need to be replaced sooner.

Proper Handling
According to celebrity makeup pro and healthy beauty expert Todra Payne, a little extra caution with your cosmetics can help you get more mileage from your products. Always apply makeup with clean hands, but never put your fingers directly into the jar — opt for items with pump dispenser lids, or use a cotton swab, spatula or brush to remove the product. Adopt a weekly cleaning routine for any non-disposable applicators if you use makeup daily. And never add any of your own ingredients to your makeup — not even water.

Watch out for changes in color, scent and texture. Foul smell? Ingredients separated? When in doubt, toss it out. There’s never been a better excuse to get to the beauty counter for a fresh look when the seasons change.

Identifying Expiration Dates
Most beauty products are embossed or labeled with a PAO symbol (period after opening) — a small icon that looks like a jar, which indicates the approximate number of months the item is valid after opening. For example, a product with a PAO of 3M opened in October should be tossed as you ring in the new year.

Tip: If you are concerned about animal testing, look for a leaping bunny label, which will help you find brands
that don’t test on animals.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

A Tale of Teen Dating

In what seems like the blink of an eye, tots become teenagers. Though some may be unwilling, parents now have to embrace their child’s new stage of development — teen dating.

It doesn’t have to be a nail-biting experience for mom and dad when approached with curiosity and candid conversation, says Dr. Lisa Doane, a clinical psychologist based in Rocky River.

Doane provides empowering guidelines to help set the foundation of communication about dating for your teens.

Provide an Education
Talk, talk, talk! You may assume your child knows what a healthy relationship looks like, and all the facts they need to know about sex. However, it’s very likely that they don’t or have at least some degree of misinformation. Talk early and often (sometimes directly, sometimes simply within earshot) about all the things you want them to know — what it means to be a good, caring, respectful partner; how to ask for what they want and say no to things they don’t want; how to negotiate and deescalate arguments and ways to identify signs that a relationship isn’t working.

Set your Expectations
Include your teen in discussions about expectations and boundaries in dating. You can avoid significant problems later on by being clear from the beginning on issues around curfew, frequency and length of dates, who will be expected to pay for dates, and any other rules you may have for their dating. If you can include your child in a friendly negotiation around these concerns, they will be more inclined to understand your expectations and adhere to them, and this will build trust during this time when it is so essential.

Meet Eagerly
Be genuinely open to meeting their new date. You may be feeling protective or defensive, or simply sad that your child is growing up quickly and moving on to this new phase of life — but it’s important that parents keep an open mind when meeting their teen’s new potential boyfriend or girlfriend. You may really like the person your teen is dating, but even if you don’t, this step will keep the door open for communication with your child about their relationship.

Engage Appropriately
On the other hand, don’t get too attached to your teen’s dating partner — if your child is moving on, you should, too (in a kind and respectful way, of course). When your teen has made a decision to exit their relationship, it’s perfectly appropriate to ask why or express surprise about it, but try your best to do so in a way that is non-judgmental. Except when it’s truly deserved, resist any urge to criticize the person they were dating — if they were to ever date again, this would make it difficult for your teen to talk with you about it.

Lead by Example
Do your best to model the type of relationship you want for your child. Consistently, studies have supported what we intuitively know to be true — teens that are exposed to more conflict in their home are also more likely to have high conflict dating relationships. When children see their parents disagree respectfully, solve problems together, and show affection to one another, they will be more likely to be primed for healthy boundaries.