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Has your make-up gone off?

bag full_of_cosmetics_22_06_12Now although we are used to expiration dates on our food to tell us when the product in question is past its best – do you realise that equally make-up has a use-by date too?

Most of us are guilty of harbouring that lipstick from years ago (because that colour will be in again eventually!) and our favourite expensive mascara that gives you luscious lashes, but did you realise that using beauty products past their use-by date can actually damage your health?

Eye make-up products such as eyeliner and mascara are often the main culprits. Using them past their best allows for contamination within the product which then, of course, can spread to your eyes resulting in styes or nasty infections. Another tip when it comes to mascara is that you should always twirl your mascara brush as you take it out; a pumping action will encourage more air into the tube and encourage bacteria growth.

But how do you know when your make-up’s time is up? Well, many products now come fit with a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol on packaging which will alert you as to how long the product will last. Still only one in four women pay at attention to make-up use-by dates, so here’s a rundown of products’ approximate life lengths:

Foundation – 6 – 12 months
Concealer – 12 months
Powder – 18 months (pressed); 12 months (loose)
Mascara – 3 to 6 months
Liquid eyeliner – 3 to 6 months
Eye pencil – 24 months 
Blusher – 12 to 18 months
Lipstick 18 to 24 months

Now’s time to give your make-up bag a health check.

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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