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Makeup Tips: How Long Is Too Long to Hold On


This is important skin care info for two reasons: First, that tube of discontinued mascara that you bust out for special occasions (because it's just that good) - though you bought it ten years ago - has got to go! And maybe a few other of your beloved cosmetics. Second, because we're devoted to bringing our beauty about in the most natural way possible, it becomes even more important to stay on top of the expiration dates (self-appointed) of our makeup.

Conventional cosmetics contain chemical preservatives that prolong a product's shelf life, so while natural cosmetics are safer and healthier, keeping them that way means weeding through the old stuff just a little more often. (Read 8 UnBeautiful Ingredients in Your Beauty Products to learn more about what chemicals to avoid). 

Since cosmetic companies aren't required to supply consumers with expiration dates, it's up to us to get informed. One thing is for sure: if your makeup has any sort of strange smell, it's past its prime. Problems that might arise from clinging to old makeup include infections from bacteria or germs and just plain old lack of efficacy (especially with foundations). Here are some general time guidelines you can apply to your makeup collection. 

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From the Organic Authority Files

  • Liquid Foundation Water Based - 12 months, Oil Based - 18 months
  • Powder Foundation - 12 months
  • Concealer - 12 months
  • Blush - 6 months
  • Eye Shadow - 12 to14 months
  • Eyeliner Pencil - 2 years, Liquid - 3 to 6 months
  • Mascara - 3 months
  • Lipstick - 2 to 3 years

In our plight to consume more consciously, being less wasteful is paramount. It doesn't feel good to throw away a half-used lipstick! That said, if you stick to just a few of your favorite beauty products, you'll use them up within their alloted shelf life. Thus averting the guilt of being wasteful - and saving money.

image: Eflon

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