It is well known that a clean, tidy, and well-ordered environment will contribute to a healthier and happier home life. Our minds associate clutter and chaos with stress which can hinder our ability to concentrate on the task at hand. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat down to do research or write a blog post and find myself organizing my desk, filing papers, and even answering emails (tech clutter) before I can tackle my to-do list. “Less mess equals less stress” is right here. My instinct is to create a more appealing space for better productivity.
Spring cleaning is also about our physical health as well. As a Nurse Practitioner first and a skincare/beauty expert second, I look at Spring cleaning cosmetics a bit differently.
Part of a good spring clean is just that, a deep dive into removing dirt, dust and yuck from hard-to-reach areas and cluttered spaces, but most importantly it is about removing those items that are expired, contaminated, or altered by time.
Cosmetics have shelf lives defined as the “recommended time a perishable product is considered suitable for sale or use.” Every cosmetic company is responsible for ensuring the safety of its products which includes choosing safe and effective ingredients, safe and proper packaging, safe and proper storage and safety testing including but not limited to Preservative Efficacy Testing (PET) and stability testing. The Cosmetic company and its manufacturer, through these tests, ensure that the numbers and types of microorganisms that could affect product quality or consumer health and the microorganisms introduced during normal use will not affect the product quality and consumer health. That is why the proper choice and use of a preservative system with an impeccable record of accomplishment was so important to me with THE ROUTE. Similarly, our packaging was selected with ingredient/formula protection and hygiene as our primary concern. What good are top quality, award winning formulas if you do not protect them from that which will decrease its effectiveness, strength and safety?
I mention all the above because spring cleaning your cosmetics has everything to do with the quality of your chosen products. Even with the most impeccable preservative system and normal use of the product, no skincare or makeup is meant to last more than 3, 6, 12 or 24 months (about 2 years) depending on the item. I have compiled a list of expiration or toss dates for common personal care items i.e., skincare and makeup and a bit of the reasoning behind each one.
Take a good hard honest look at your cosmetics and you will find many items well past their prime and reaching into those that might pose a health risk category. Even yours truly, although a major fan of the spring purge, must admit I hang on to items longer than I should. My most extreme is that I have the lipstick and lipliner I wore on my wedding day 25 years ago (this upcoming November)! I will admit I will never wear it again because that’s just gross but why on earth do I hang on to other lipsticks and lip glosses well past their prime? Probably because they ain't cheap and it simply seems like a waste. So that begs the question: why am I not more responsible in my spending? Purchase only what I can use or that I absolutely love? So much of our cosmetic consumption is impulse buying and then we end up with much more than any one human can use over a reasonable period. I am guilty of it too. I will provide a few tips and guilt trips that may influence your next trip to ULTA.