Rationing skincare products so they last longer is not unheard of, but it can also increase the likelihood of the beauty item going bad or growing mold.
Most beauty products contain preservatives to prevent bacteria and mold from growing inside any of the items. But lately with the rise of clean beauty, companies have focused on decreasing their ingredients list to appease customers.
While a condensed list of ingredients can be better for the skin, it is important to recognize what natural preservatives can do for a product and where it is best stored to prevent bacteria or mold.
Important: Mold and bacteria can grow in skincare products past their expiration date or kept in hot climates, experts warn (stock photo)
Gross: Experts recommend checking the look, feel and smell of a product to detect if mold or bacteria is growing. But mold will typically not look like what is found on bread (pictured)
When first purchasing skincare products, pay attention to if it contains natural preservatives. Without natural preservatives, water-based products are likely to grow mold quicker.
‘It’s really important that we push people away from the idea of preservative-free,’ Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research for the Environmental Working Group, told Well + Good.
Besides paying attention to the ingredient list, it is also important to place the products in a specific area within the home.
‘Mold grows where there is an ideal environment for them,’ Roberta Del Campo, a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami Beach, Florida, told Allure.
‘Moisture, warmth, and food are all necessary for mold to grow.’
Professional advice: DailyMailTV makeup artist Nikki Fontaine (pictured on set with host Jesse Palmer) warned that you also need to keep any tools used to apply beauty products clean and sanitized
DailyMailTV makeup artist Nikki Fontaine, who has worked with the likes of Heidi Klum and John Travolta, warned that any beauty products with bacteria in them, be it skincare or makeup, can cause all manner of skin issues, including ‘clogged pours, breakouts, and irritation’.
She also noted that it isn’t just the products themselves that need to be looked after – but also any implements that are used to apply them.
‘I’m all about cleaning and sanitizing the implements used to apply skincare and makeup products,’ she explained.
Incorporating a special drawer or dark area in a bedroom or bathroom to store all the beauty products can also help increase its longevity and prevent mold growth.
Some makeup artists, such as Priscilla Ono a global MUA for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, even go as far as to buy a mini fridge for the sole purpose to store all their skincare products.
Priscilla revealed her own mini fridge to her followers on Instagram last month and said she was ‘extra af’ because she had invested in such a specific item in order to protect her favorite products.
However, it’s no surprise that the beauty pro went to such length in order to look after the different items, particularly as the majority come with a very high price tag.
Clever: Makeup artist Priscilla Ono, who works for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, revealed last month how she keeps her skincare products in a mini fridge
Brilliant: The small fridge provides just enough room for her top products so they stay cool and out of harms way for growing mold or bacteria
While there were a couple of budget products in the cooler, including a $7 Mario Badescu Facial Spray, a number of them were incredibly high-end, including the Dior Hydra Life Cooling Hydration Sorbet Eye Gel ($55), the La Mer Moisturizing Lotion ($270), the La Mer Eye Concentrate ($215), and Tatcha’s Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask, which are $12 each.
She also had a rose quartz face roller in there, which many people use to de-puff the skin.
Many of her followers thought incorporating a chilled place for beauty products was brilliant and wanted one of their own in their homes. But a drawer, cabinet, or even the kitchen fridge would work fine as a budget-friendly option.
How long do skincare products typically last?
Peels and masks: three months
Acne products: four to six months
Toners: six months to one year
Cleansers: one year
Moisturizers: one year
BHA or AHA exfoliants: one year
Lip balm: one year
Sunscreens: one to two years
Facial scrubs: two years
New York-based beauty pro Nikki added that keeping tabs on and following the expiration dates for each product will also help to ensure you aren’t using any formulas that might be contaminated.
‘Switching out products once they expire can ensure you aren’t adding unwanted bacteria to your beauty routine,’ she advised.
Sunscreen, for example, should last between one to two years depending on the product while a mask or peel normally expires within three months.
But some beauty items might grow bacteria quicker than the label suggests.
To test if a product is contaminated, experts recommend using your look, touch and smell senses to detect mold or bacteria.
Be warned, all assumptions about mold resembling the green or white fuzz on fruit or bread tends to be false when it comes to cream products.
Look, instead, for products forming a clumpiness in its texture or even exuding an odor unlike how the product normally smells.
Roberta admitted to Allure, though, that some products in opaque bottles can make it difficult to tell if it has gone bad or not. But a change in smell will be the largest indicator.
If product with mold or bacteria inside is used on the skin, it could cause a rash or irritation.
‘Further, it can cause itchy or swollen eyes when used on the face,’ Roberta said.
Making sure lids on bottles are always tight, buying products with natural preservatives and finding a contained space to store products are the top ways to prevent mold and bacteria growth.