Guest Post- Are Your Beauty Products Breeding Bacteria?


Most women take their beauty quite seriously. This can begin at a young age, when a girl first plays with her mother’s make-up. Over time, this can morph into a daily routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing one’s skin before applying make-up. It’s true that those of us who practice this routine diligently generally have healthy, glowing, and blemish-free skin.

But what role does make-up play in the health of your skin? Many women swear by natural cosmetics or gentle make-up designed for sensitive skin to protect their health. However, few realize that all cosmetics can eventually become dangerous, especially when they are used beyond their recommended expiration date. It’s not considered a common health issue, but using expired make-up can lead to skin irritation, breakouts, and infections. Federal law does not require manufacturers to state an expiration date on cosmetics packaging. Nonetheless many manufacturers do print suggested expiration dates to be counted from the moment you first open that new container. These advisory labels don’t state a specific date by which you should toss that beauty product. Rather, the label will state a time period, such as 24 months, by which time you should have either used up or disposed of the product.

Most make-up artists and dermatologists agree that cosmetics should be tossed along a few general guidelines. Powder-based cosmetics like pressed powder and eye shadow are okay for two years. Lipsticks and nail polishes can also last as long. Pencil eyeliners and lip liners can last between one and two years as long as you regularly sharpen them with a clean sharpening tool. The sharpener can be rinsed weekly by rubbing alcohol to keep it safe and squeaky clean. Liquid cosmetics have shorter shelf lives. Liquid eyeliners and mascaras should be switched at least every three months as the bacteria that grow in them can lead to infections like pink eye. All make-up contains some bacteria, even before the first time you open the container. Even though most make-up contains some preservatives to help guard against bacteria, these preservatives break down over time and this allows the bacteria to take over. You may unknowingly worsen the situation by neglecting to wash your hands before applying cosmetics or using dirty applicators and brushes. Wash your make-up brushes weekly with a baby shampoo and a little warm water, allowing them to air dry on a clean towel. If you apply make-up with sponges, replace them on a regular basis.

If you’re finding it difficult to keep track of when you purchased your cosmetics, pay particular attention to the color, consistency, and smell of each product. Expired make-up does not apply as easily and is not as smooth as the unexpired ones. Expired liquid cosmetics may look as if the formula has separated or the consistency changes- can be sticky, runny or hard. Expired mascara looks dry and is difficult to apply. Even if the smell changes, it’s time to toss the leftover product.

Your beauty regimen is an important way for you to take care of yourself. Using fresh cosmetics should be a fundamental part of this routine. Don’t overbuy, pay attention to how each product looks and smells, and get rid of anything that isn’t performing the way it should.

Do you have more tips to share for one to recognize if a beauty product is good or has gone bad? Write in the comments below.




Today’s guest post is by Patricia Walling, a blogger for She self-identifies herself as a perpetual student of medicine, and can be found most of the time researching anything related to the field. She lives in Washington and is currently enjoying the rare summer sun.


Note: The post has been completely written by the guest blogger and the thoughts expressed are hers alone. mySkin does not endorse to any products or sites mentioned in the post, if any. Thanks, Pat for this wonderful read:)