How to Preserve Cosmetics

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High-quality makeup isn't cheap, so it's painful to toss out a product that goes bad before the expiration date. Different types of cosmetics have different shelf lives, generally ranging from a few months to more than a year. All makeup products go bad faster if you don't properly care for them. Introducing bacteria and germs into makeup doesn't just ruin the product; it also sets you up to get a nasty illness or infection. Avoid this by storing your cosmetics safely and keeping your makeup clean with good sanitary practices.

Step 1

Locate the average shelf life for your cosmetics. In general, powder eye shadow and blush last about two years. Cream and liquid foundation last for up to six months. Replace your mascara every three months. No matter how well you preserve cosmetics, don't use them if they are past a published expiration date.

Step 2

Keep cosmetic packages sealed tightly and stored out of direct sunlight. Air and sunlight can destroy the preservatives in cosmetics, causing them to go bad faster. Also, avoid storing makeup in the car or any other hot location.

Step 3

Store makeup out of the bathroom. The heat and humidity in the bathroom can cause bacteria to develop in cosmetics.

Step 4

Wash your hands and face before handling makeup and never put your fingers into a cosmetic bottle. Doing so transfers bacteria from your hands into the makeup. Use an applicator or disposable cotton swab to get makeup out of the bottle instead.

Step 5

Avoid sharing makeup with others, especially if you or another person is sick.

Step 6

Purchase cosmetics in pumps when possible. These cosmetics stay fresher for longer because they're not exposed to air.

Step 7

Sharpen lip pencils and eye pencils after each use. This helps eliminate surface germs and bacteria.

Step 8

Cut off the top layer of lipstick and lip balm if you used the product while sick. Alternatively, throw it out and buy a new one.

Step 9

Avoid adding water to any cosmetics, such as liquid foundation, unless instructed to do so by the manufacturer.

Step 10

Wash makeup applicators and brushes regularly to eliminate bacteria. Clean brushes once a month with lukewarm water and mild shampoo and then lay them flat and allow them to dry. A sanitizing spray works well if you're in a hurry and can't do a thorough cleaning.