If it’s been a while since you overhauled your product collection, it’s time to take action…
Hands ups, who hasn’t cleaned their makeup bag or brushes for weeks? Months? Years? Don’t worry, there are plenty of us that still have our hands raised.
Clearing out and cleaning up your makeup and skincare stash is kind of like scrubbing your oven – you know you need to do it but surely putting it off a bit longer isn’t going to hurt. Well, actually, you might be surprised. While it might seem harmless delaying sorting out your makeup and skincare collection, experts say otherwise. In fact, it can be harmful to your skin health if you don’t try to stay on top of the cleanliness of your cosmetics bag.
“Makeup pots and brushes are notorious for harbouring bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells,” says skin specialist Dr Fabusiwa. And the build-up of these can add up to skin concerns we’d rather avoid. “These harmful bacteria can quickly colonise in our cosmetics and from there can be transferred directly onto our skin with each application. The dirt and bacteria from your brushes can clog and irritate the pores leading to inflammation and blemish-prone skin.” With everything the world has flung at us recently, why would we want to inflict any skin issues on ourselves?
So, first things first, it’s time to tackle your brushes. “You should endeavour to wash your makeup brushes weekly,” says Dr Fabusiwa, as these are the vehicle for applying products, they are going directly onto your skin and into your products a lot of the time.
To keep your face free from irritation it’s important to use something that’s not going to feel harsh on the skin. Dr Fabusiwa recommends a gentle cleanser, so the Tropic Signature Hand Wash or Body Washes would be perfect to lather up with. Make sure you don’t forget your beauty sponges, too!
When it comes to skincare and makeup, it’s key to remember that they can and do expire over time. “After a while the ingredients in your product begin to break down – this might render the products ineffective or, even worse, irritate your skin,” advises Dr Fabusiwa. Check your products for their expiry date and shelf life and if you can’t remember when you purchased a product, that’s probably a sign you need to replace it.
If you think your products are turning before their shelf life should be up, there are things you can do to ensure that they stay in good condition for longer. “Bacteria grow best in warm, moist environments, making our foundation, concealer and natural moisturisers the prime place for bacterial growth”, advises Dr Fabusiwa. To give them the best chance of longevity, storing your cosmetics in a cool, dry place is essential – so away from the humidity of the bathroom is best. Keep lids firmly on when products aren’t in use and to avoid bacteria from your hands getting into pots and jars, why not use a dedicated skincare spoon or scoop that you can clean after each use?
Clear Environment, Clear Mind
Not only does cleaning up your makeup and skincare routine benefit your skin, it’s also a great activity for the mind.
Taking time out of your schedule to meticulously go through your products and check if they have passed the point of no return is a really good way of decluttering your shelf and your brain. Typically, your environment reflects your state of mind, so if the area you get ready in every day is cluttered, it’s likely that your mind might be too.
Categorising products is a good place to start. How many moisturisers or mascaras do you have that are open? Which one do you reach for most frequently? What do you have too much of? When you start to answer these questions, you’re likely to see a pattern forming and your streamlined, clean cosmetics collection will be in place in no time.
Doing a clearout like this will also help you purchase more mindfully too. For instance, if you know you had four open mascaras last time you checked, which ultimately led to three of them having to be cast out because they expired before you could use them up, you’ll think twice before buying in excess in the future!