Healthy skin tip #7: Throw out your old makeup!

Want healthier skin? (Of course – why else would you be reading this blog?!) Take a look through your cosmetics and ruthlessly chuck out anything that's past its prime.

Old makeup runs the risk of contamination.

To clear up a misconception: Bacteria aren't the problem. The real enemy is mold and fungus, according to Dr. Louise Hidinger.

Dr. Hidinger has a PhD in biological chemistry and also holds a post-graduate certificate in cosmetic science. (If you haven't already discovered her awesome blog Ingredients of Style, go! Now!)

Via email, she explains for us what happens as cosmetic products age:

Bacteria gets into cosmetics and skincare products as soon as the container is opened and the product comes in contact with skin (e.g. when using fingers to scoop cream out of a jar). This is because all people have bacteria residing on their skin. The more important concern is actually fungal contamination, not bacterial contamination. Certain funguses and molds can infect the skin, which presents a risk to people with compromised skin or a weakened immune system. If a cosmetic product gets moldy, it’s time to throw it away.


Packaging can make a big difference here. Dr. Hidinger also says:

Contamination can be reduced by having the product in a pump container that excludes air and water. However, this type of packaging is not always possible, as it depends on the type of formulation, as well as the cost of the packaging itself.


In our view, getting rid of older products may have a sneaky side benefit. Nobody likes to waste, and so you may find you want to simplify your beauty routine, buying and using fewer products overall – as we pointed out in our last skincare tip, that can have a positive impact all by itself.

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