People use makeup and other beauty products to look and feel good. From lipsticks and face powder to soaps, lotions, and perfumes, these items are made to respond to the demand for grooming and self-care products.
But be careful, as not all beauty products are created equal. Some may not be made for your skin type, while others may require a bit more care in terms of application.
Either way, you should be aware of these five safety tips on buying and using such products:
1. Prevent contamination
One significant risk you should avoid when using makeup and other skincare products is contamination. Below are some rules you must follow after buying foundation online or other cosmetic products from a beauty store:
Keep your hands clean when handling makeup products.
Avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands. Make sure that you clean them first before applying makeup to prevent the transfer of germs to the product and the parts of your face.
Always close the lid tightly after use.
Never leave makeup containers open to prevent it from bacteria exposure or drying out. You should also stick to products that are packed with sanitation and safety in mind.
Never share with other people.
Makeup and other beauty products are personal items and should never be shared with other people. Sharing fosters the spread of germs and bacteria, so be sure to buy your own when you spot something you like on your friend or coworker.
Replace old applicators.
Never reuse old applicators for new products even if you like it better than those that came with the replacement. Over time, bacteria can grow on applicators, so it’s best to change them as frequently as you change the products you use.
2. Know when to replace them
Although makeup brands are not required to stamp the expiration date in product’s labels, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can last forever. The period in which cosmetic products remain safe to use depends on:
The kind of makeup
How often they are used
How they are stored
Generally, makeup products for the eyes have shorter shelf lives due to their constant exposure to germs.
To be safe, experts recommend following the “when in doubt, throw it out” rule. Of course, you can also use the following list as a guide on how long to keep those face makeup products in your makeup box:
Foundation – Powder forms can last for two years, while liquid ones can be used for as long as six months.
Mascara – This can be used within three months from the date the package is opened.
Eyeliner and eyeshadow – Liquid eyeliners are good for three months, while cream-based eyeshadows can be used as long as six months. Powdered shadow and pencil liners are both good for up to two years.
Lipstick products – Lip gloss and lipstick can last two years from the date the package was opened, while lip liners are good for two years or longer.
3. Always read the label
Labels contain useful information that could help you make a healthier choice. Phrases like paraben-free, cruelty-free, non-GMO, USDA organic, and others indicate how well ingredients are selected to ensure consumer safety.
Of course, you should still read the complete list of ingredients to see if there are a few items that you don’t want touching your skin. The labels mentioned earlier are just quick visual signs that help narrow down your options as you tread the makeup and skincare aisle or browse online brochures.
4. Stick to products with simple ingredients
When reading the label, you should also be looking at the list of ingredients that a makeup product contains. The rule of thumb is to stick to products with ingredients that you can read and pronounce.
While this may not seem important, most ingredients named that way are the natural, simple, and healthy ones. In contrast, ingredients that don’t sound like they are from the English dictionary are almost always synthetic or made in a lab.
For example, makeup products made with plant-based coloring are preferred over those with artificial pigmentation. The same is true for fragrances that use pure plant extracts, seed oils, and the like.
The number of ingredients matters as well. The fewer the ingredients, the safer the products are.
5. Do your homework
If you have any doubt about the product or a specific ingredient it contains, don’t just let it slide. Instead, do your homework and research about it.
Thanks to online search, plenty of information on a wide variety of products and ingredients are now available and can help you make an informed decision. This way, you can determine the risks a specific ingredient or product poses to your health, to animals, or to the environment.
Makeup products are created to make you look and feel good, which means they should also be safe to use. Of course, several circumstances and factors affect how well this is achieved. Beautify safely by heeding the advice listed in this article.
Nick Vinckier is Head of Growth at Chalhoub Group, the largest luxury retailer in the Middle East. In his current role, he focuses on taking Faces.com from 0 to 1, transforming the beauty retailer into the fastest growing online beauty platform of the GCC.