Spring clean your beauty vanity like a pro

Time to throw out that ancient kohl pencil.

It’s no secret we love our makeup. And if you’re anything like us, you would have a favourite product that is used up in record time. But we’re definitely all guilty of having a few tubes and pots of makeup that should’ve been binned long ago!

It’s a fresh new season, so it’s the perfect time to spring clean your beauty vanity. Not only is it a great way to check out what’s running low, it’s also very important to check the expiry dates on your beauty products. Some skincare and makeup items have an actual use-by date on the packaging, but the more common date to go by is actually the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol.

You’ll find a picture of an open pot or jar with a number and the letter M on your product. For example, a concealer might have the jar symbol with “6M” inside it, which tells you that you must throw out your concealer six months after opening it.

[RELATED: An organised wardrobe equals a happy life]

It’s super important to pay attention to these PAO symbols! Not only can keeping an item of makeup for too long cause it to discolour or not do what it should, but bacteria and other gunk can gather in there. That’s why eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner need to be replaced every three to six months – they get up close and personal with your eyes and using the same product for too long can lead to infections. A smoky eye with a red eyeball is not hot…

To avoid infections, skin irritation or even allergic reactions, check the PAO date on all of your beauty products, stat! if you can’t find it on the product, contact the manufacturer and ask an expert.

As a general rule of thumb, here are some common PAO dates for makeup:

  • Mascara: 3-6 months
  • Pencil eyeliner and brow pencil: 6-8 months
  • Liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months
  • Face and eyeshadow powers: 1-3 years (make sure you’re always using a CLEAN brush!)
  • Liquid foundation: 1-2 years
  • Concealer: 6 months to a year
  • Lipstick, gloss or lip pencil: 1-2 years

Remember ladies, these are just guidelines, so be sure to have a look at your own products. And take note: any natural or organic makeup and beauty products are going to have a shorter lifespan – keep these no longer than six months.

Get spring cleaning! Who knows, it might be a great excuse to go makeup shopping…

Words: Hanna Sloan