Liza Goldman, Licensed Aesthetician
The night air is crisp, humidity is fading, and pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps.…. it’s officially fall! I know, I know, don’t cry. Summer will be back in just 9 short months and we will be back to shorts and flip flops! In the meantime, this is a great time of year to get our skin care wardrobe in order. You know that drawer or cabinet in your bathroom that is overflowing with lotions and potions? It’s silently begging you to rescue it. We all fall into the same cosmetic pit. We have things we thought we wanted, those that we tried and didn’t like, purchases we made not thinking about what we already had, and the sample sizes….. oh the sample sizes. We tend to hold on to all of these thinking one day I will get to it, or we feel bad tossing something that is perfectly good. But is it perfectly good?
Let’s start with the makeup. You have a stockpile right? Don’t use most of it? I get it. You needed it. If, however, you have had a foundation so long that the color has changed….. no good my friend. Mascara is a biggie too. Your mascara should ideally be tossed after three months if it has been opened. My helpful tip on this one is to smell it when it’s brand new. Mascara has a great way of notifying you when it has had enough. Aside from drying out, the smell of mascara becomes a bit “sour” over time. If you know what your mascara smells like when it’s new, then you’ll be able to identify when it no longer smells right. If you reach the three month mark and think all is still well, toss anyway. You have three months of yuck in that tube and you’re using it on your eyes. Time for a new one. Eyeshadows, blush, powders, etc.? A little “vintage” is just fine. Brushes? Please tell me that you’ve cleaned your brushes at some point since you purchased them. If not I won’t judge, but I will urge you, as your trusted “go to” skin care professional, to clean them. Brushes, especially those used for creamy and liquid cosmetics, can harbor bacteria. Warm water and a gentle cleanser will get you back on track. Oh, and you’ll want to dry those babies laying on their side so the water doesn’t run down and break up the glue holding your brush together. Feeling ambitious and want to keep your brushes cleaner on an ongoing basis? A citrus based spray for brushes is a good option. Spray, wipe, viola! Your brushes will be dry almost instantly, smell good, and be clean and ready to go!
On to the lotions and potions! If you were given some cool samples 5 years ago and you still haven’t used them, bye bye. I know you think that one day you’ll use them, but if you haven’t by now you likely won’t. Also, most of those great little packets have a shelf life. 1 to 2 years is a fairly standard shelf life for skin care products. Past that point you could have adverse reactions and or ineffective ingredient bases. Trust me, it’s actually liberating to purge all of it. Oh, and that opened moisturizer that your mom used once, didn’t like, kept for a year, and then gave to you because it was “brand new”? Ick! I promise that product needs to go. It’s ok, just do it and thank me later. Understand that I fully realize that there can be significant cosmetic and skincare purging anxiety (I love acronyms so let’s refine that syndrome I just coined as CASPA). You’ve spent time and money gathering these treasures. Each one may even have a memory associated with it, “Aww, this is the cool serum I bought that snowy day that I met my mom for lunch”. Just know that holding on to things doesn’t bring back the resources used to acquire them. In the same way, tossing something doesn’t erase the memories you have associated it. My friends, it’s time to Rock the CASPA. You can do it. Clean out, throw out, and start fresh where you need to. You’re worth it.
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