Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shelf life of beauty products

How many of us have bathroom cabinets overflowing with medicines and beauty products we rarely use or that we are just hanging onto for that one day "just in case?" This is an area of the house that can easily become cluttered very quickly. The medicines are a no brainer. Make this a twenty or thirty minute clutter buster task: go through your medicine cabinet and throw out any expired medicines. While you're at it, take an inventory of your beauty products and get rid of anything old or that you seldom use. I found a list in Real Simple magazine of the average shelf life of common beauty products. Here it is:

Anti-aging and acne treatments: Three months to a year. Antioxidants are easily oxidized, so be on the lookout for any changes in color.
Body lotion: Two to three years, particularly if it’s in a pump container.
Shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel: About three years.
Bath oil: One year.
Sunscreen: Check the package for an expiration date.
Mascara and liquid eyeliner: Three to four months. Make sure you’re diligent about replacing these items to prevent contamination and infections.
Eye and lip pencils: Three to five years. Sharpen them before each use as a way to preserve them and keep them clean.
Lipstick and lip gloss: Two to three years.
Foundation: About two years. Most bottles are designed to last that long. And if you don’t use it, chances are you didn’t love it to begin with.
Perfume: About two years. To get more mileage out of a perfume, resist the temptation to display a pretty bottle on your vanity. Instead, stash it away in a cool, dark place.
Nail polish: One year.
Hairstyling products: Three to five years. Most are alcohol-based, which helps preserve the formula.
Bar soap: Up to three years.
Shaving cream: About two years.
Deodorant: Up to two years.

Pictured below is a bathroom cabinet that I worked on in a client's home. This was a bathroom not frequented often where beauty supplies and cosmetics had really started to pile up. I got rid of most of the stuff and used a couple of things around the client's house to organize what we kept.

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