Spring has sprung, and it’s everyone’s favourite time to do some housekeeping. The best place to start your Spring Fling – the bathroom. So, when is it really time to ditch makeup and bath products? Admittedly, I have a hard time parting with anything, so the expiration date in my mind is somewhere between a year – and eternity. Here’s a go-to guide on what to keep, what to toss, and when to toss it.
Let’s start with the bare necessities – when it comes to skincare products, let your five senses be your guide. If your face wash doesn’t look or smell like it did when you bought it, toss that baby. Same goes for creams – try to use those up within a year. Open jars can breed bacteria and you don’t want that going on your face. If you’re anything like me, you switch shampoos before you finish the bottle, but make sure you toss the half-used one after about 18 months. If unopened, shampoo lasts a few years.
When it comes to bath soaks and bubbles, check the packaging date and consistency for any changes – but let’s be real – those don’t last when you’re a bath lover! If you use a body scrubber, poof or loofah, make sure to replace those at the first sign of discolouration. The experts say 2 months, but we’d all be taking out loofah loans to keep up with our obsession.
On to makeup – and most importantly, mascara. Did you know you’re supposed to replace it every three months? Here’s a trick – buy the travel size! It’s less expensive, it doesn’t dry out and you’re more likely to use it up before it goes bad. Same goes for eyeliner – three months and toss. Foundation – six months – especially if it has sunscreen in it. Sunscreen loses efficacy over time. Eyeshadow is more forgiving. Powder makeup lasts a little longer since it contains the least amount of water – you can hang onto it for a few years – but only if you’re cleaning your makeup brushes regularly.
Which brings us to makeup brushes. Those need regular attention – like weekly or twice a month (excuse me while I run to clean mine) – especially eye makeup brushes. The easiest way to clean a makeup brush is in the palm of your hand. Wet the bristles, put a drop of cleanser in your hand and gently rub the bristles in your palm until the rinse water is clear. Squeeze the excess in a clean towel, reshape the brush and here’s the important part – hang the bristles OFF the counter to dry. If you lay them flat on a towel, you’re just putting mildew right back into the brush. When the bristles start to fray, it’s time to toss the brush.
And speaking of towels, did you know you’re supposed to wash them every few days? I guess it’s time to stop turning my hand towels around and inside out…
Hairbrushes, toothbrushes and razor blades all have a shelf life too. My uncle is a dentist and he and the American Dental Association say the general rule about toothbrushes is every three months, or as soon as the bristles are frayed. And you should always get a freshie if you’ve been sick. Razor blades can hold some bacteria, but you can wait until it looks dull or chipped or when you’re not getting that smooth close shave anymore. Which brings us to the illustrious hairbrush. If you use a lot of hair product, you’ll need to clean your brush more often – at least once a week. If the bristles are broken or bent, it’s time to invest in a new one. Experts say you should toss them every six months, but admittedly my favourite paddle brush has been in my drawer for a few years – I do clean it a lot though!
Got any travel sized soaps and shampoos? I’ll bet you have a whole drawer. Donate them to your local homeless shelter. If you haven’t used them by now, you’re never going to.
Medications and first aid kits are probably the most important spring cleaning in your bathroom. Medicine changes composition after their expiration date, and your band-aids from 1995 aren’t going to stick as well (and likely won’t be as sterile). If you find yourself questioning anything in your cabinets, a good rule of thumb is to toss it. It will save your storage - and maybe your health.
Now that your bathroom is refreshed, grab your up-to-date bath products and a freshly washed towel and hit the showers!
Guest Blogger Bio
Cindy Bertram is a television writer who loves brainstorming, blogging, binge-watching reality TV, and most notably, bathing. When she’s not producing television shows and commercials, you can usually find her in the tub with a good book.