Monday, November 18, 2013
I saw the latest nonsense a few days ago on Twitter: a claim that 18 months is the absolute bitter end for all beauty products. Throw them out; buy more. What rubbish! Is it intended to generate more revenue for cosmetics companies?
Let's get a few things straight. I'll start with my own observations. I used my first Chantecaille Tiger in the Wild palette for three years. It was only when I had worn through the last trace of the top-level shades that I turned to palette #2, which has been waiting in storage for me for more than two years. Did I ever have a negative reaction from using it? Of course not. It is stored in good conditions; I use "relatively" clean brushes"; I always close the palette after using it; and it's powder.
I have found that powder products are virtually indestructible. Mine last forever. The same cannot be said for lipstick/lip gloss and face creams. Depending on how you have used or stored them - and how long - they can go bad. Do they always? No.
An unused lipstick or lip gloss will last for many years unless you mistreat it. Once you start to use a lip product, it will be exposed to bacteria. The shortest time I have ever had one "go bad" was 12 months. It was a gloss. More typically, they last a few years before they start to get "funky." How can you tell they are past their prime? A coating on the surface or a change in fragrance are telltale signs. More often than not, they dry out.
Skin care is a whole "nother" thing. However, it still lasts much longer than many "experts" will acknowledge. I am using a jar of Crème de la Mer that I have had for two years. It's fine. I do make sure my fingers are clean when I "dip in." After 5-7 years, I did have a La Mer Eye Concentrate turn to fluid. It started life as a cream. When I opened it to look recently, I found a liquid with particles floating in it. Gross and gone!
Perricone MD makes some products that turn rancid pretty quickly. I've mentioned that recently. My Nutritive Cleanser turned rancid in eight months. I've purchased Cold Plasma products that turned on the shelf before my purchase. They went right back to the store. It's really stupid to store skin care under the hot, bright lights of display cases.
I do try to use my skin care as rapidly as possible, but I'm not giving up my La Mer Crème any time soon. It may live another year - or more.
Mascara should be recycled frequently. It doesn't go bad, exactly, but it gets gloppy. You will know when it's time to toss it and open another tube. I do that about every month, but will admit to staying with a tube for up to two months - as long as it doesn't get gloppy. When it starts to dry out, it has to go.
My whole point is that there is no universal rule. If you read one, write that blogger or editor off unless s/he provide scientific evidence to back up those opinions. I'll disclose that my opinions - the ones stated here - are based on my own personal experience and common sense. I can't afford to sponsor research studies - or throw out perfectly good products because some "expert" said I should.
Photo at top courtesy of Chantecaille