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Expired Cosmetics & Pimples vs. Acne

Expired Cosmetics & Pimples vs. Acne

Dear Laurel: I have an entire bag of cosmetics that I bought throughout the years, yet I only use some of it occasionally. I am concerned that after a certain time frame they may go bad and actually cause skin problems. How can I tell if my makeup has gone bad or expired?
June ~ Winchester

Dear June: Cosmetic companies are not required by law to list expirations dates, although some choose to list the manufacture or expiration date on the outer packaging. This is great help, but unfortunately most of us throw the packaging away when we begin using the product. It is important to get rid of cosmetics every so often to ensure that you’re getting the maximum benefits and to avoid things like infections. It is best to keep in mind the following basic guidelines for the life expectancy of your cosmetics. Liquid or Cream Foundation: 3 to 6 months, however bottled foundation with a wide mouth can expose the product to more air and should be tossed sooner. Pressed Powders, such as Eye-Shadows and Blush: 6 to 12 months. Lip Gloss and Lipstick: 2 to 3 years. Eye and Lip Pencils: 1 year, however, sharpen pencils frequently to prevent bacteria from being transferred to your face. Mascara lasts the shortest amount of time, 3 months, and is the likeliest to cause infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and breakouts. From the moment you open it, the effectiveness of the product decreases and bacteria grows, but keeping your products stored properly will help to extend their life. Treat your cosmetics with care and store them in a dry, cool place. An obvious sign that your cosmetics may be bad is if you notice any changes in texture, smell or color. Makeup preservatives help to kill most common-use bacteria, but as soon as you open your new products they are exposed to airborne bacteria, so keep makeup containers tightly closed when not in use. Bacteria is also added by touching the product with your hands or unclean brushes and applicators, so wash your face and hands before applying makeup. Instead of touching your makeup directly by placing your fingers in the product, pour a little into your palm or scoop a little out with a disposable spoon or applicator. You should also never share your makeup with others. At some point, aging cosmetics lose their effectiveness to fight bacteria no matter how careful you are, but practicing good common sense and basic hygiene will help to avoid infections and unwanted skin irritation.

Dear Laurel: I have been noticing an increased frequency of pimples on my face and concerned I may be developing adult acne. How do I know if these pimples are actually the beginning of adult acne?
Kelly ~ Lexington

Dear Kelly: I used to believe that acne and pimples were the same thing and I know many others have the same thinking too. Unlike pimples, acne doesn’t develop overnight. Acne usually develops over a long period of time and takes place deep within your pores, whereas pimples usually form sporadically on the surface of the skin and disappear relatively quickly with good skin care practices. Even if you keep your face clean all the time, as we age and hormone levels change, you can still develop acne. Acne develops when dead cells and too much oil remain within the pore, they create an environment where oxygen can’t get in causing bacteria to grow and populate. The bacteria will digest the oil trapped inside, producing a fatty acid waste. This fatty acid waste irritates the pore lining, causing redness and inflammation. Now that you understand how acne develops, it’ll be easier for you to identify the differences and what treatment to take. If no matter what you do, your skin does not improve, I suggest you seek the help of a professional esthetician. She can provide some good advice and make skincare recommendations to help you combat your problem skin. If all else fails, seek the advice of a dermatologist.

Email Laurel your questions at: laurel@indulgencedayspa.com