There’s no time like the beginning of a new year to re-evaluate everything in your life, including your skincare.
Whether you are a skincare minimalist, or like me, a total skin care junkie, its time to take stock of what you have, decide what needs to go, and figure out what you need to invest in.
Some of my friends can do this in less than 2 seconds – they have a cleanser and a moisturizer, and that’s it.
I recently spent an entire evening doing mine. It was ridiculous and fabulous. Ridiculously fabulous.
Admittedly I have not only my current skincare supply, but also my travel skincare (my travel bag is always packed and ready to go), my pro makeup kit supplies, my on hold products, products sent to me to write about, and things I just haven’t been able to part with.
I’m a borderline skincare hoarder.
To start the purge and move in to the new year:
1. Get all your skincare products out and in one place.
2. Throw out anything old, anything you haven’t used in the past year, anything that doesn’t work for you anymore.
I am terrible at keeping the last little bits of products I adore. If they haven’t gone bad, use them up this month, otherwise trash them.
3. Eliminate anything that has gone bad or no longer works for your skin.
A sidenote here: you will find that anyone who stands to benefit from you throwing out products, as in they can sell you more, will tell you everything expires in a few months and tell you to throw them out.
4. Inventory what you have so you can make a list of what you need.
(Tomorrow we will look at how to build a skincare wardrobe)
How To tell If Skincare Products Have Gone Bad
Most skincare products have an estimated shelf life of one year after they have been opened. The fewer preservatives they contain, the shorter their lifespan. I have had plenty of products last much longer, but if not stored correctly or handled properly skincare products can go bad much more quickly.
They’ve probably gone bad if:
1. They look funny. If something looks odd I’m not going to risk putting it on my face.
2. They have separated.
A skincare product that has separated (unless it is designed to) has probably gone bad.
3. The texture has changed. Something creamy that is now runny, products thickening etc.
4. They have visible signs of spores or other growths.
(You’d be amazed at how often people show me their creams and potions and I see bacteria growing in or on them!)
5. They smell. If it doesn’t smell right, toss it.
Active ingredients like retinols and glycolics can actually get more potent as their bases degrde, separate or evaporate.
How To Store Your Skincare Products
Store your skincare products the same way as you should store your perfumes: unless the directions say otherwise, keep them in a cool dark cupboard, away from heat, and out of direct sunlight.
I keep some of my eyes masks and eye gels in the refridgerator, but that is largely because they feel nice when they go on cold.