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Spring cleaning your makeup and toiletries case


Even the most diligent among us likely has at least a few makeup products and toiletries we still use even though they’re past their prime. Here’s what to ditch and when.

Makeup bag

Some of us just get lazy, while others just want to stretch out the use of something as long as they possibly can (even if it might be harbouring bacteria or not doing its job as effectively). Either way, many of us know better than to use expired makeup and toiletries. There’s no better time than now — spring — to get a fresh start. Give your products a clean sweep (this guide will help you figure out what you need to ditch), and make a note on your calendar to remind yourself when each product should be replaced.


Have you been ignoring those frayed bristles on your toothbrush for a while now? You’re not getting as effective a cleaning with an old toothbrush. Throw it out, get a new one and be sure to replace it every three months. If you find your toothbrushes show wear and tear earlier, replace them more often.


If you’ve opened a mascara, you’ve got a mere 90 days of it remaining bacteria-free and good to use. You especially want to be careful with this product since it’s applied so slose to your eyes (an area that’s wet and open — practically a welcome mat for bacteria!). If it smells funky or has changed consistency, replace it ASAP.

Lipsticks, powders and other makeup

Lipstick should be replaced every six months or so. Same goes for powder products such as pressed powders, eyeshadows and the like, as well as foundation and blush. If you have new makeup that you have never opened and used, you can hold on to it longer (store it in a cool, dark, dry place) since you have not introduced bacteria to it.


Body lotion, moisturizers and other liquid products such as body washes can last more than a year after opening. Those that feature a pump will last longer than those you have to dip your fingers into (such as a jar), as these products are less likely to come in contact with bacteria and air.


Sunscreens feature expiry dates on their packaging. After you’ve opened it, you have one year to use it before the formula potentially breaks down, making it less effective at protecting your skin from UV rays.

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