by BR Natalie
A few years ago we published this article on Product expiration dates. It's one of our most-read articles to date. From the comments we received it seems we were pretty even-stevens on those who follow the expiry dates and those who didn't.
One way to ensure you get the most out of your beauty products is to store them correctly - exposure to air, light, temperature changes and moisture can all shorten the life span of our products. The biggest and easiest change you can make to your beauty storage is to follow one simple rule.
Now. Repeat the golden rule of beauty product storage after me:
Bathrooms are not for beauty products.
What do product formulas need to stay tip-top? Stability. The humidity and constant temperature changes in a bathroom do not a stable environment make.
1. Beauty products do not like moisture.
Now don't get us wrong - we want our products to be moisturising. We don't want them to be impacted by excess moisture. Not only does unwanted moisture change a product's consistency, it also increases the likelihood of bacteria growing.
Your pot of eye cream? Well firstly, pots are the least sanitary dispensing format, but when kept in a bathroom the probability of icky bacteria breeding increases.
Do your powder products seem to get cakey quickly? Add moisture to powder and what do you get? Cake. Powder products absolutely should not be kept in the bathroom. EVER.
Even 'bathroom' products shouldn't really be kept in the moist bathroom area. Take those salt and sugar scrubs we're all addicted too. Add more moisture and what happens? The key ingredients dissolve! Ergo. A less scrubby scrub.
2. Nor do products like temperature changes.
Take your favourite anti-ageing moisturiser for example. All of those powerful active ingredients need a stable environment, rises and falls in temperature will compromise the actives and if don't take care of your actives and they won't be active anymore!
Now your everyday hair care and body washes, thing you're using often, can stay in the shower, but products you're using less often,like a hair masque, or intensive body lotion, should be kept somewhere cool - changes in temperature can impact the emulsion of the product.
Oils, oil based products, silicone based primers and liquid foundations should most definitely be stored in a consistently cool place. Think inside a cupboard, but not near an external wall. Why? Well changes in temperature dry products out, and cause the oils to split in the formula.
3. Nor do products like light.
Forget arranging your collection neatly on your dressing table, or in those clear (and expensive!) acrylic storage sets and put it in a dark drawer.
Clear containers, especially for things like eyeshadows, lipsticks and other products where shade is important, are frankly the worst packaging fail ever. The UV rays of sunlight will over time change the pigment.
Products containing UV protection / SPF, should absolutely be kept in the dark. Why? Well the bit that protects you, the UVA absorbers, work regardless of whether the product is applied to your skin. So basically, if SPF is exposed to sunlight, it will absorb the energy, using up the protection factors in the product.
4. Fragrance, Paraben and preservative free products will last longer if you store them in the fridge.
Fragrance will also last longer in the fridge - those hundreds of specially chosen ingredients in every bottle are so susceptable to light and temperature, the best place for it is somewhere cold and dark.
You can also keep things like lipsticks and balm products in the fridge during the summer months to maintain their consistency; and some products like eye cream can also be kept in the fridge for a better performance - the coolness constricts blood vessels, reducing puffiness. It's the same with anti-redness products!
TLDR: Only when stored correctly will a product actually make it to its expiration date. So do yourself a favour and stop using your bathroom to store your cosmetics, skin care and fragrance.
So - where do you keep your beauty products? Do you throw caution to the wind and have your pretties on display in the bathroom, or are they safely tucked in a drawer, fridge or cupboard? Get chatting below.