Most people understand that it’s important to throw away old mascara after a month or two, but did you know that many cosmetics should be tossed not just because of age, but also their ingredients? If your makeup counter is a mess, get busy reading to find out what to toss and what to buy.
Avoid harmful, toxic chemicals. It’s not just what you eat but what you wear on your skin that counts. Many make-up companies still employ the use of chemical ingredients that have long been known to be harmful to ingest. Read the ingredient list before buying, and check anything unusual at a website like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep site.
Some chemicals to avoid are:
Parabens — Whether it’s methyl, propyl, ethel or butyl, you should avoid parabens whenever possible. This preservative may keep makeup fresh, but it also can cause rashes and allergic responses and may pose a higher cancer risk.
Diazolidinyl or Imidazolidinyl Urea — These chemicals are used as preservatives in some cosmetics. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, these chemicals cause contact dermatitis and produce dangerous formaldehyde off-gasses.
PEG, Ceteareth, Polyethylene compounds — These chemicals are synthetically created and in the process are often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. The U.S. government considers this contaminant as probably cancer-causing, as it is absorbed into the skin easily.
- DMDM hydantoin and bronopol — Both of these preservatives are known to decompose and release formaldehyde. They are often the cause of allergic responses.
Buy organic, natural cosmetics. Whenever possible, buy organic. Most of the organic makeup is made without harsh ingredients, unnecessary chemicals or animal byproducts.
Old makeup can be dangerous. Discolored makeup; eye makeup older than three months; anything older than six months or never used; clumpy, dried mascara; and liquid foundations that have dried or separated should be tossed. Bacteria can build up to unsafe levels, and chemical decomposition in old makeup can be unsafe as well.
Dump dirty, old applicators. Cosmetic tools can harbor bacteria and dangerous chemicals. If you don’t use it, haven’t cleaned it or it smells funny, toss it. Maintain new applicators regularly. Clean makeup brushes, makeup sponges and applicators with gentle hair shampoo. Rinse completely and let air-dry.