Hopefully you've tackled your makeup bag with a good spring cleaning by now. If not, here are tips on how to clean up your makeup bag. Now it's time for Part 2 of the Beautylish Spring Cleaning series: skin care! Just like the drugs in your medicine cabinet, sunscreens and skin care products have an expiration date. They're usually printed on the outside of the package (the cardboard box you probably threw away when you unpacked your new product), but if you didn't take a peek at packaging (or forgot), New York City dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas shares her guidelines on what skin care products to keep and what to toss:
How ToSTREAMLINE YOUR SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
Throw out anything that you haven't used in a year, including that leftover sunscreen from last summer. Expired sunscreens are especially dangerous because they can make you more prone to sunburns! Likewise, old chemical peels can become unstable, so toss any skin treatments (especially daily peel pads) with alpha hydroxy or salicylic acids that are past their prime--also about one year.
If you've splurged on a pricey eye cream or skin care product, don't just save it for special occasions. "The maximum activity of a product usually lasts only three months max after you open the jar," says Dr. Alexiades. So any special active ingredients that you're paying a premium for won't be very effective if you don't use the cream right away--you'll get better results with regular usage too. And remember, bacteria breeds in warm, moist environments (like your medicine cabinet after a hot shower), so keep your lids screwed on tight.
When you get a new product and you haven't finished your old one, wait before breaking the seal on the newbie. Likewise, don't stock up on products when they're on sale. Having one extra of your favorite cleanser is fine, but do you really need a two-year supply? All the extra bottles means more clutter in your storage space.
If your anti-aging cream has darkened in color, toss it. Antioxidants like vitamin C turn brown when they oxidize (just like a cut apple turns brown), a sure sign that they're no longer potent.
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