It’s April and spring has sprung! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and spring cleaning is on everyone’s mind. April weather is the perfect time to open your windows, air out the winter blues, and declutter your personal space.
Pushing your sweaters and boots aside to make room for your sundresses and sandals might be on the top of your list, but what about your beauty products? Do you need to go through your skincare, haircare and makeup? The short answer is “yes!”
Reclaim Medical Aesthetics manager, Laura Teteris, said it best, “While you’re cleaning out your vanity drawer or cabinet, be sure to check the container for any indicators of shelf life. If you can’t remember when it was purchased, chances are it’s past its prime and may no longer be effective.”
Follow along as she takes you through her process of Spring Cleaning her beauty products!
1. Check Expiration Dates
You’ve heard the phrase “all good things come to an end”. Well, the same is true with our beauty products. Every product has a particular shelf life, along with an expiration symbol on most bottles which indicates its life expectancy after opening. The symbol should look like the image below, but if you can’t find it on your product bottle, check the packaging it came in. Or, if you’re like me and you can’t find the box, use your eyes and nose for tell-tale signs. If a product has discolored or has a malodorous smell, chances are it has expired and the safest thing to do is throw it away.
2. Check Active Ingredients
Products that have active ingredients, like salicylic acid, will become less effective overtime. Although using products that are past their expiration date may not harm your skin; they won’t benefit it either. If you have noticed that your acne products or retinol creams aren’t “working”, it might be that they’re expired! The average life expectancy of a retinol product after opening is anywhere from 6-9 months. So, if you’ve had it for longer than that, it’s time to replace it!
3. Don’t forget your free samples!
If you’re anything like me, you probably save all your free samples for traveling or at-home facials. As convenient as these are to have on hand, check for signs of expiration. Many travel-size products may not have an expiration date, so the smell test will come in handy here! Spring is a great time to go through all your travel products and only keep what you know to be a recent “free gift.”
4. Organize your skincare
The best way to make sure you’re using your products before they expire is to have a good organizational system in place! Separating products by type (i.e., cleansers, moisturizers, serums, etc.) and by expiration dates could help you get the most out of your beauty products!
There are two main forms of sunscreen, chemical and physical (aka mineral). Now, before you grab last years (maybe?) sunscreen and head to the beach, be sure to check all your sunscreen products for an expiration date. This is an indicator that the product may no longer provide the protection you need. You can find the expiration date at the bottom of the tube or bottle. But what if it’s close to, or has just expired? Can you still use it? Although I do not recommend using sunscreen past its expiration date, some mineral sunscreens contain ingredients like zinc and titanium oxide that can still provide protection after the expiration date. But keep in mind, the formula as a whole will start to degrade providing less of a physical protective film over the skin. While a mineral sunscreen offers some wiggle room before it is no longer effective, a chemical sunscreen expiration date is more concrete. Chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone, avobenzone and homosalate. These ingredients can and will oxidize reducing their efficacy. All sunscreen ingredients breakdown and spoil. When they do, they can give off a strange odor, become discolored, watery, or appear lumpy. Let’s not take any chances with our skin. If you find any of these tell-tale signs, it’s time to replace your sunscreens!
Tip: Keep your sunscreen in a cool place to help prolong its shelf life. Avoid storing your sunscreen in direct sunlight or in hot places, like your car.
After going through and organizing your beauty products you might find yourself wondering, “now what?” Spring is also the perfect time to prepare your skin and skincare products for the warm and humid spring weather! Laura shares some of her go-to choices for refreshing her skincare routine.
- A few simple changes can make a big impact. During the dry winter months, I cut back on exfoliation and reach for a rich, creamy cleanser to soothe my dehydrated skin. In the warmer humid months, I increase my exfoliation. Sweat and oil can cause more breakouts and dull skin and that’s why I love using my favorite exfoliating cleanser AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by SkinMedica 3-5x a week. I will also swap out my creamy cleanser for a more lightweight option like the Stone Crop Gel Wash by Éminence Organics.
- Just like swapping my rich, creamy cleanser for a lightweight cleanser, I also swap my heavy creams for lightweight lotions. A lotion still provides my skin with the hydration that it needs while allowing it to breathe in the warm, humid weather. One of my favorites is the Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF 40 by Éminence Organics because it hydrates my skin while also protecting my skin from damaging UV rays. If your skin is on the oily side, choose a gel moisturizer, like the Mangosteen Gel Moisturizer by Éminence Organics.
- Antioxidants help neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, formed by exposure to everything from the sun to pollution and even your cell phone screen. These free radicals can lead to skin damage and can leave lasting hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Vitamin C is a potent and well-studied ingredient that can deliver multiple benefits to help combat hyperpigmentation and stimulate collagen. I prefer to use a vitamin C serum. Serums are lightweight and have a larger concentration of active ingredients than moisturizers, which ensures you get the biggest bang for your buck! My favorite vitamin C serum is the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum by Éminence Organics. This serum contains 16% vitamin C plus vitamin E and stabilized L-ascorbic acid making it one of the best on the market!
- If you feel lost on where to start with cleaning, organizing and replenishing your skincare routine, I recommend coming in for a Reclaim Signature Facial to “restart” your skin and talk with our skin care specialist, Laura Mae about products!
No matter when you spring clean, we hope this guide helps motivate you to keep your beauty products fresh and fully effective!