Why you should check your makeup expiry date

Monday December 3 2018

Even if you feel bad about throwing something

Even if you feel bad about throwing something away, think about all the treatments you would have to get and visits to the doctors if your skin reacted badly to expired makeup. PHOTO by Rachel Mabala 

By Joan Salmon

Sheila Kintu suffered a break out that saw her visit a dermatologist more often than she had her entire life.
“I had been using this foundation for close to a year and it had done well to conceal my blemishes on my skin,” she says. However, Kintu started experiencing redness on the skin and it was painful. “I have always washed my brushes every two weeks and ensured that my foundation was covered so I did not know where the inflammation was originating from,” she explains.
Acting on a friend’s advice, she gave it a break for a week. “The redness subsided and I resumed use, but the inflammation returned with a punch that I visited a dermatologist who after a lengthy said my foundation was expired, hence the reaction which he termed as contact dermatitis,” she adds.
Michael Ochieng, a makeup artist at Trendy Salon, says no matter how clean you may be, when makeup is past its expiry date, it is not good for use.

It has the shortest lifespan of all makeup because it is applied very near your eyes; on your lashes. Aisha Nabisubi, the administrator at AAR Health Care Bugolobi, says one of the ways you will notice that mascara is expired is when it takes you four coats to attain what you would with two coats. She advises that you get a new tube every three or four months, to be safe.
Lipstick and lip gloss
Most of these can last you up to two years, more so if you do not use them many times a day. However, when the scent changes from ordinary, say, smell like alcohol or the look changes, Nabisubi advises that it is time to toss them out. For lip-glosses, when the sweet scent turns sour, the smooth gloss turns watery, clumpy or gritty, it is time to let go of it.

If you can, buy foundation that has small openings because the less you touch the actual foundation, the better. Nabisubi says, “Keep an eye on the colour as colours will oxidise, turning orange and layers may start separating after exposure to air for too long.

Lip and eyeliner
These come in close contact with your lips and eyes so it is very important that you are sure they are not expired. However, the beauty with pencils is that they can be sharpened regularly which helps in refreshing them. They can, therefore, last up to three years. However, when their texture changes, Nabisubi advises that you let go of them.

Hair products
Luis Bismark of Luis’ Salon says conditioners will mould and lose the sweet smell for an awful smell when expired. Relaxers have an ashy smell but will also start smelling awful and solidify on expiry.
Shampoos can also get clumpy or separate, turn yellow or look discolored. He says that expired shampoo will not ruin the health of your hair or do any permanent damage, it just won’t work. It could also possibly dull your hair out. “Most hair products do not have an expiry date but on the label around the tin is a symbol; of a tin with a number next to it. The numbers are months that the product should be used upon opening the tin,” he advises.

These are meant to smell appealing. However, if they start smelling different from when you bought then, or smell like sweet alcohol, it is time to toss them.


Natural products
Marion Etyang Busigye of Shea-care says, “Most pure oils should have expiry dates on their packaging. When they expire, they will turn rancid.” Looking at shea butter, Busingye says it is usually given a time frame of two years from pressing.

Fake products
Malik Ssempereza, a dermatologist with Unity Skin Clinic, says buyers need to ensure that the spellings on the containers of their makeup products are accurate. “Spelling mistakes are a sign of fake quality,” he explains. “Most modern cosmetics have a barcode and QR code for scanning,” Ssempereza adds. Scan and see if it leads to the product website as only a genuine product will be linked to the website. “If you use a product and see your skin changing drastically in a few days be careful. It may be a counterfeit with harmful ingredients,” he concludes.

Dr Edward Ogwang of Skin Specialist Clinic, says some are outrightly difficult to use because of change in texture. Chemicals from product degradation can cause skin irritation and germ overgrowth can cause infections, especially for those used around the eyes.

Proper use
“Expiry date refers to the length of time you can expect a product to stay safe for use. This largely depends on the product, how it is used and how it is stored,” Dr Edward Ogwang of Skin Specialist Clinic explains. Overtime, cosmetics ingredients start to break down for reasons such as:
• Contamination - for example, by putting fingers into the product, we may add germs such as bacteria and fungi which are usually kept in check by preservatives. • Applicators such as mascara wands are exposed to germs each time you use them. You therefore need to clean makeup brushes regularly.
• Storage in the bathroom exposes makeup to germs as the moisture facilitates growth of germs.