. All of us have cupboards full of crumbling powders, worn out lipsticks and dusty jars of cream gifted by friends and relatives from abroad. Now is the time to clear out the clutter.
The seven golden rules to follow when storing cosmetics:
* Store cosmetics in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight; but not in a medicine type of box or under the sink. Humid and hot areas spoil the cosmetics.
* Check the expiry date, especially sunscreens and other SPF products. They not only lose effectiveness over time but also become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
* Keep your make-up tightly capped. This prevents oxidation and contamination thus prolonging the shelf life of your cosmetics.
* Watch for changes in colour, odour, texture and consistency such as product separation. There may be signs of growing bacteria.
* Never moisten make up with saliva or water. Saliva increases the chance of breeding bacteria.
* Don't share or lend your make-up or applicators - not even a quick dash of lipstick or eyeliner. Chances of getting infection from the other user are high.
* Last but not the least, if you get an eye infection or cold sore around your mouth - immediately throw out any products that may have come into contact with that area.
Some facts to help you ditch your cosmetics:
* Mascara: (shelf life - three months): Don't pump your brush in the tube. This introduces air, which promotes bacterial growth.
* Eye and lip pencils: (six months): Sharpen pencils before each use. This helps to clean the surface. Avoid using lip pencils as eye liners as some colourants are unsafe.
* Powder (face, blush): (6-12 months): Wash the sponge and applicators regularly with a milk shampoo/soap.
* Lipsticks (one year or more): Store at room temperature.
* Cleansers (6-12 months): Use tubes or pumps instead of jars.
* Toner (6-12 months): Apply with a clean cotton pad or ball.
* Moisturiser (6-12 months): Choose a pump or tube instead of a jar for hygienic storage.
* Undereye cream (6-12 months): Do not apply higher than your eye socket. Any higher may sting your eyes.
* Sunscreen: (one year but check expiry date): Don't leave outdoor or in direct sunlight. Thus knowing how to store beauty products will make them last longer and keep your skin free from rash or infection.