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When Should You Bin Your Cosmetics/Skincare?
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nyonyakay
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:09 am      Reply with quote
This article came courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday (Feb 20): http://www.smh.com.au/news/beauty/products-live-on/2007/02/20/1171733744920.html

It suggests many commercial products are "over-preserved".

Products live on

We may be well into a new year, but that doesn't mean your cosmetics need to be replaced.

The advice to bin mascaras after eight weeks and sunscreens and moisturisers after a year of being opened is wrong.

The Australian cosmetics industry says products' effectiveness does not reduce with age. Medical specialists unattached to the industry say cosmetics do not become dangerous with age.

And it seems the level of preservatives required by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme and the packaging that even cheaper brands have adopted means cosmetics rarely "go off".

"The advice to get rid of mascaras after a few weeks is a little bit over the top," says Mentone ophthalmologist Dr Christopher Chesney. "There doesn't seem to be an issue with contamination even if it's on the eyelid."

Dr Peter Cowen, a Brighton dermatologist of 25 years' experience, says he can't remember ever seeing someone with a problem caused by an out-of-date skin-care product. "They don't become dangerous. They may or may not lose effectiveness."

"Not" seems the likely answer, for two years at the very least. That's a long time to be using the same jar of cream.

Australian cosmetics do not have to be labelled with expiry dates.

On a product from the European Union - which has the world's most strictly regulated cosmetics industry - an open jar symbol shows how many months it will stay fresh after opening (you'll see it here because the multinationals like to keep common packaging).

The vast majority say 24 months. But Will Evans, technical director of the small Australian company that makes the A'kin range, reckons there's no chance of the big-name products deteriorating. "They are likely to be over-preserved," he says. His "naturally inspired" products have a shelf life of at least three years.

Australian sunscreens usually have an expiry date (required for SPFs higher than 15) of three years and, according to Jane Oppenheim, scientific director of Ego Pharmaceuticals, many will be stable for much longer. "That's even after they've been used," she says.

Accord, which represents the cosmetics industry, says the general attributes of a cosmetic - "such as its skin moisturising ability or colouring ability as in the case of lipsticks or make-up" - are unaffected by age.

But mascaras do clog or dry out and Oppenheim says skin care products can become contaminated with bacteria.

Wash your hands first; use a cotton bud or choose a product that comes with a spatula (such as Shiseido's Future Solution, $150); or is in a long-necked tube (including Ego's QV Face Revitalising Eye Cream, $15); or has hands-off delivery (Eyre's Triple Action Facial Scrub, $44).

Store them at less than 30 degrees and use commonsense: don't leave a pot of eye cream open on the dashboard for the dog to lick.
Wild Cat
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:35 am      Reply with quote
I do tend to use products over a long period of time. And I usually just trust my nose Very Happy If it stinks its going to the bin but if not I just use it as usual. I am rather cheap to throw away products Very Happy

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nyonyakay
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:16 pm      Reply with quote
Has anyone ever had a product go "bad" on them? If so what was it and what "grew" in it? After how long?
c4ward
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:06 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for sharing.

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Wild Cat
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:06 pm      Reply with quote
nyonyakay wrote:
Has anyone ever had a product go "bad" on them? If so what was it and what "grew" in it? After how long?


nyonyakay,
Samples with strong actives usually go bad pretty fast. Like Super Serum, Active Serum, any of the C-serums. They stink! Full size products don't go bad as easily unless its contaminated. So, I prefer products esp. lotion, cream, serum to not be in a jar. Air-tight containers are the best.

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Arielle
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:08 pm      Reply with quote
nyonyakay wrote:
Has anyone ever had a product go "bad" on them? If so what was it and what "grew" in it? After how long?


I haven't had anything go bad. Things just tend to dry up before I can finally finish them.

Ari

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fishzebby
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:11 pm      Reply with quote
thanks forthe info.
dalguy
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:44 pm      Reply with quote
I don't think I've ever thrown anything out but here's another thread about this that some might find helpful.
http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=19251&highlight=

Just incase you didn't catch this, I posted that a lot of products have a symbol on them that indicates shelf life. The symbol looks like an open jar that says 12m or 24 m on the body of it.

hths
nyonyakay
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:51 pm      Reply with quote
That's very helpful, thank you. These are all "rough" guides of course. Storage practices and environmental conditions are significant variables to consider in sweeping guidelines.
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