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8 Steps to Clean Up Your Beauty Collection

December 20, 2018

8 Steps to Clean Up Your Beauty Collection


The New Year is just around the corner. The days are getting shorter and colder, which is a perfect time to make New Year’s resolutions and to clean up your beauty collection.

Your medicine cabinet is filled with half empty products, samplers, expired products and unopened bottles.  Cleaning up and organizing your beauty products not only creates a clean and organized space, but is also important from a health perspective as using expired makeup and skincare products can cause short- and long-term skin problems such as breakouts, allergies, eye infections and even skin cancer.

Below you can find eight easy steps to clean up your beauty collection:


Step 1: Collect all your beauty products.

To have a successful cleanup, you need to start fresh with a good old-fashioned purge. Gather all your beauty products (yes all of them) scattered around the house; empty all drawers, bins and medicine cabinets from the bathroom and guest bathroom and throw all found beauty products onto a large towel. Don’t be shocked by the large pile--just start to eliminate all empty, damaged and excess products.


Step 2: Remove all expired products.

Check expiration dates and PAO’s (periods after opening) of all your beauty products and separate all expired and old items. Pay extra attention to sunscreens, SPF-containing products and anti-aging products as they lose their efficacy can cause severe long-term skin damage. Be extra careful with products used around the eyes or mouth. If your beauty product doesn’t have an expiration date or PAO, you must trust your sight, touch and smell and look for a change in color, smell and texture. When in doubt, don’t take the risk, toss it.


Step 3: Group similar products and remove excess products.

Sort your beauty products into categories such as eyeliners, mascaras, lipsticks, blushes, cleansers, body lotions and shampoos. Set a limit as to how many items you can keep of each category and get rid of the excess—you don’t really need 5 black mascaras. Remove all out-of-style products.


Step 4: Separate everyday items from travel and top-notch items.

Now that you have reduced and cleaned up your beauty collection, it is time to organize your items for easy and practical use. Evaluate the space available and, if needed, purchase organizers or bins. Separate your top-notch items used for special occasions from your everyday products and store them in a bin or give them a separate shelf space. Place your daily-used products in order of frequency of use and place them in an easy access spot. Place your travel-sized items together so that you don’t have to make a mess before traveling.


Step 5: Clean out the expired, old products and recycle.

To protect our planet, it is important to dispose of our beauty products properly to reduce damage to our ecosystems. The stamped recycle triangle on the packaging indicates whether and how it is to be recycled.  If the packaging is recyclable, clean out the content as much as possible by scooping it out with a towel or a spoon and deposit it in the regular household trash. Recycle the packaging in your recycle bin. If the product packaging does not qualify for recycling at home, you can bring it to your local recycling center or to organizations such as TerraCycle, Origin or to selected beauty brands.


Step 6: Clean your beauty tools.

Healthy skin requires clean beauty tools. Collect all of your beauty tools such as toothbrushes, styling tongs and makeup brushes. Deposit all damaged, old and unused tools. Replace your old toothbrushes. Sanitize and disinfect all your brushes and tools with your favorite cleanser to prevent bacterial damage.


Step 7: Donate new and unopened products.

It is time to rid yourself of unopened beauty products that you bought or were gifted several months ago. Give them a new life. Clean off the dust, gift-wrap and donate them to your friends or family.


Step 8: Reward yourself.

Now it is time to relax and enjoy your accomplishment. You know exactly which of your favorite beauty products you are missing or which you need to restock. Treat yourself to new ones! Put on your favorite hydrating sheet mask and start writing your Christmas or New Year’s list.


Lifespan of beauty products:

  • Liquid skin makeup: 6-12 months
  • Powder face makeup: 24 months
  • Eyeliner: 12 months
  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Lipstick: 12 months
  • Skin cleansers: 12-18 months
  • Nail polish: 12 months
  • Skin moisturizers (creams and gels): 12-24 months
  • SPF cosmetics: 12 months (but no more than one season)


Written By Jan De Gols



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