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When to toss out beauty products and how to store them

Skincare products
Posted date on Jul 13, 2020

Beauty enthusiasts around the world often end up hoarding tons of beauty products every year. Well! There are no prizes for guessing what happens next. We all know the end result usually is something like this: Heaps of barely used products that are often used well beyond their shelf life.

And then there are many who throw away the boxes of beauty products which contain the expiration dates, which makes it difficult for them to decide for how long they can use them.



If you found yourself nodding in affirmation for either or both the cases stated above then this blog is for you. I, for one, can understand that it may be extremely difficult to part with skincare products that do wonders to your skin. But you should also know that old or damaged products do more bad to the skin than good.

To help you make a wise decision of knowing when to toss out beauty products and how to store them to increase their longevity, I have prepared a guide. Read away to know more.

Pay heed to the Expiration Date & PAO

Now this may sound trivial but one has to always pay heed to the expiration date of the product. Beauty products like any other product come with a shelf life. Using them beyond this period may lead to burns, acne breakouts and skin irritation.

Another important indication that needs our attention is the PAO. This is nothing but to specify for how long after opening the product can you use it.  Again, do note the duration and trash the product as per the directives mentioned.

Pro tip: If you wish to toss away the boxes of these products then do use a permanent marker to write down the expiration date or the PAO on the product itself. This will help you to know till when can you use the product.


Look for tell tale signs in a damaged product
There are times when a product has lost its efficacy due to improper storage or exposure to harsh temperatures. Such products might end up looking or smelling differently than the time they were bought. Now do you use them or toss them? You can look for these signs to know if you should throw them away:

  • The product has developed a strange odour

  • The ingredients have either become runny or have developed lumps

  • There is a discoloration that has taken place

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Memorise a cheat sheet for commonly used beauty products
While it is important to know the ingredients of each beauty product, it is also important to have an idea of the lifecycle of commonly used products.

a) Makeup products

  • Liquid Eyeliners and Mascara: They usually last upto 3-6 months. Never add water to dried out eye products. Just trash them immediately after they dry up.

  • Foundation, Concealers & Eyeshadows: These make up products last upto 6-12 months.

  • Lipstick, lip gloss and lip pencils: Lip products easily last upto 2-3 years.


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b) Skincare products

Most skincare products including moisturisers, toners, exfoliants and serums when stored well last upto a year. On the other hand, sunscreen tends to have a longer shelf life and may last upto 2 years.

c) Natural beauty products
Since many are now switching to natural beauty products, it is important to note that they have an extremely small shelf life. This is because these products are made out of natural or no preservatives.

Now that you know when to toss out beauty products, let us understand how to store them to ensure that their efficacy stays intact till the last date. Here are some of the tips that you can follow:


  • Store beauty products in clean cabinets

  • Protect them from harsh temperatures like the sun or the refrigerator

  • Always use these products with clean hands especially the ones in jar

  • Don’t share your makeup products or products that are in jar containers 

  • Always clean the caps and spouts of the products to avoid accumulation of the product which may breed pathogens

  • Close the lids of the products tightly after each use

  • Buy small containers of seasonal products which can be used up in the season itself


Hope these points will help you to make the right choice when it comes to tossing or keeping your beauty products. Also, do remember while beauty products are for our skin, it doesn’t harm to keep the eyes and nose open when you use them. 


Don’t forget to consult a dermatologist in case of a skin allergy, irritation due to skin products.



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