Care and shelf-life of cosmetics

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Shahnaz Husain
Caring for cosmetic and make-up products is of great importance, because they can be affected by heat and moisture. The same goes for make-up brushes and applicators. In fact, keeping them clean and away from dust, helps to prevent skin problems. During the hot weather, store your lipsticks in the refrigerator. It’s a good idea to put all your lipsticks in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge. You should also have a drawer in your dressing table for make-up products and applicators. In fact, its a good idea to have the drawer divided into sections or compartments for different items. This not only saves a lot of the time while applying make-up, but keeps them away from dust. At other times of the year, when humidity and heat are not high, lipsticks can be kept in a specific compartment in the drawer. Sharpen your lip pencils regularly and always keep the lid on, so that it is protected from dust. In fact, after using cosmetics, make sure you have closed them properly. Apart from being exposed to dust, a product like a mask or a scrub may become drier if it is exposed. If there are natural ingredients in the formulation, they may change colour if exposed to the air for long.

Make-up brushes and applicators should be washed once a week. Use warm soapy water and add a few drops of an antiseptic lotion. Rinse well with water and allow the brushes to dry naturally before keeping them away. Or, you can use a clean cloth or tissue to dry them.
Cosmetics also have a shelf life. They way you store your cosmetics, including make-up items is also important, because it can also affect the shelf-life. Products should not be used beyond that, so that you do not expose yourself to contamination and infection. This is certainly more important for make-up cosmetics for the eyes. Going past shelf-life date can affect the stability of the product. Our Ayurvedic skin and hair care cosmetics have a shelf life of 3 years from the date of manufacture. Our make-up cosmetics have a shelf life of 2 years, but some make-up cosmetics have shorter shelf life.

In general, in the market you make find that many make-up items may not carry an expiry date, so its all the more necessary to have an idea how long a make-up cosmetic may last. Cosmetics are not only exposed to dust, but also mix with the natural oils of the skin through their applicators. This can affect the stability of the product.

A good way of knowing that a cosmetic item is past its expiry date is by the look and smell of the product. If a moisturizer or lipstick smells rancid, it means that the oils may have separated. If your mascara is dry or too sticky, it means its time to get another one. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and to practice strict rules of hygiene, not just with cosmetics, but also with applicators. The Shelf Life of make-up cosmetics is as follows:

Foundation: Water based foundations last for a year, while cream based foundations may last longer – for about 18 months.

Powder: Loose powder can last for two to three years, but compact powder lasts for two years and may sometimes become drier even before that time.

Blushers and Eye Shadows have the same shelf life: Powder blushers and powder shadows last for two years, while cream blushers and shadows last for about 18 months. If you find the colour of the blusher or shadow has changed, it is time to change it.

Mascara lasts for three to six months. Actually, the pumping action of the applicator brush of roll on mascaras is said to make them more vulnerable to bacteria.

Eyeliners have a shelf life of two years. So do lip-liners. If you use eye pencils, sharpen them regularly. This keeps you safe from contamination.

Lipsticks also last for two years, but lip gloss lasts for less time – 12 to 18 months. As already mentioned, if there is any change in colour, look or fragrance of the product, the stability of the formulation may be affected. So it’s best to stop using them.

If you find your mascara has become dry even before the use-by date, do not add water or cream to soften it. If you have an eye infection, throw away your eyeliner, mascara and eye pencils, even if they are not past their shelf life date. In fact, if there is an eye infection, any redness or irritation, avoid using cosmetics till you have got over it. Always wash your hands before applying make-up, because we often tend to use our finger tips to apply or blend. Needless to say, avoid sharing make-up cosmetics.

Source:  The Sangai Express

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