Most women buy more beauty products than they know what to do with, present company included. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve collected items that are officially just taking up too much space. The question is, what should we get rid of?
Whether it’s makeup or skincare, beauty products should not only make you look good, you should feel great about using them. And you’d be surprised, albeit, disturbed by just how many allegedly safe products contain toxic chemicals. So above all else, let’s better your beauty routine by getting rid of anything that potentially poses a risk to your health.
Think of this decluttering process as a long-overdue beauty detox. Also, commit to repeating the process at least once a year. “Spring cleaning” doesn’t really have to happen in the Spring, but it definitely needs to happen consistently. So let’s get started.
If It’s Expired, Throw It Out
We’ve all been guilty of keeping beauty products that have expired from time to time. Maybe you never got around to using it, maybe it’s too expensive to throw away before it’s empty. No matter your rationale, when a beauty product has gone bad, it’s no good to you and no good for you.
If you’re unsure how long something will last, cosmetic labels typically contain a world of information, including how long you have to use it. When in doubt, check all products for the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol. Unfortunately, not every product out there contains this helpful symbol, but moving forward, aim for those that do.
There’s a significant lack of regulation in the beauty industry, so the FDA doesn’t require companies to disclose expiration information just yet. This often leads to inaccurate expiration dates and products with no noted expiration at all. But nothing lasts forever.
While every product is different, most beauty products only last a year, with the exception of nail polish (2 years) and perfume (10 years). You may not even be aware you’re using a product that’s gone bad. So think about how long you’ve had it. Also, if you’ve noticed new acne, irritation, increasingly clogged pores, or suddenly dry skin, expired products may be the culprit.
So when in doubt, throw it out.
Routinely Clean Your Makeup Applicators
If you apply makeup on a daily basis, you’re probably using makeup brushes, sponges, or other applicators on your face. Applicators consistently mingle with your makeup products. Not to mention, your bathroom counter and your skin. And so, those applicators are likely collecting mounds and mounds of old makeup and growing bacteria.
Long story short, it’s time to clean them.
However, once a year is not enough for this one. Many beauty experts suggest cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges thoroughly every week. You should also consider replacing them every few months. As for spring cleaning, now is the perfect time to swap the old applicators out for brand new ones, especially if you never have before.
For the brushes you plan to keep, cleaning them will be easy. While you can buy sprays and soaps just for applicators, you don’t really need a special cleanser. You can use a non-toxic soap, facial cleanser, or even clean makeup remover to get the job done.
Change Your Skincare Routine With The Season
It’s time for a fresh start with the changing seasons in mind. So swap your winter routine for a clean spring routine shortly before the first bloom. As the weather warms up, your thick and protective winter cream will no longer be necessary. Switch it out for a lightweight product. In Spring and Summer, I opt for a water-based, gel-moisturizer.
Whatever you choose, don’t forget the SPF!
With the beautiful flowers of spring comes pollen and other allergins. So take this opportunity to invest in products with Vitamin C and other antioxidants. And if the harshness of winter left your skin dull and dry, there’s no better time for a facial.
Your skincare routine is not the only thing that might need an overhaul as the seasons change. If you wear makeup, it might be time to soften and lighten your color palette, brush up on budding beauty trends, and fine-tune your routine.
Take Care of Your Skin Inside and Out
Spring cleaning your beauty routine is also about developing a cleaner routine. Depending on what you’ve been using in the past, it might be time to purge your skin with various detox products before moving forward.
Maybe you need a restorative cream for your skin’s barrier. Perhaps you want to start doing a once-a-week charcoal detox mask. It also might be wise to look into beauty supplements targeting a wide array of skin concerns. Whatever you decide to go with, think of it as a skin reset, or as some skin experts like to call it “a juice cleanse for your face.”
Above all else, approach spring cleaning your beauty routine by taking one step at a time. There’s no need to overwhelm yourself by doing it all at once, but you also shouldn’t skip any steps. Cleaning up what’s right in front of you is the easiest place to start, but detoxing internally is one of the most important ones, especially if you’ve been using toxic or expired products for a little too long.
From this moment forward, pay close attention to the ingredients. Eliminate products with even a single harmful ingredient and incorporate safe products that detoxify. It might seem extreme to throw out an otherwise A+ product because of one bad ingredient, but it isn’t. All beauty products are only as good as their worst ingredient.
Get Rid of All Toxic Products
Make your way back to your collection of products. We’ve thrown out what’s expired and now, it’s time to read those ingredient labels and throw out any and everything containing toxic chemicals without hesitation. Ready, set, go.
Turn over your favorite cosmetic product or moisturizer and see what they’re actually made of. Do they include active ingredients and antioxidants? That’s great! How about parabens and carcinogens? Get rid of that stuff pronto! But don’t feel bad. Most women’s beauty collections contain a terrifying amount of toxic ingredients. They just don’t know it. After all, no beauty brand leads with that.
At first, it might seem like you’re tossing money out the window but look at the bigger picture. Investing in clean beauty products is investing in taking better care of yourself inside and out. Spring cleaning your beauty routine is partially about tidying up, but it’s also mostly about your health and truly getting the most out of the products you buy.
You might feel sad letting some of your favorite products go, but if they’re full of toxic ingredients, they’ve been deceiving you from the start. So it’s time to part ways and develop a beauty routine that’s clean, non-toxic, and 100% safe.
Let this somewhat daunting task become a fun and freeing opportunity. Give your beauty routine some breathing room, prepare to truly pamper yourself, prioritize your health, and give yourself one less thing to worry about.
Divide and Conquer
Again, there’s no sense in getting overwhelmed. So if you have a large beauty collection, it might take more than a few minutes to detox and declutter your beauty products. Instead of viewing spring cleaning as one giant chore, divide your collection into smaller sections.
Start small and work your way from top to bottom. In other words, your face and scalp are the most important places you should be applying clean products. So when you spring clean, start with what’s most important. Move from skincare to makeup to hair care to body washes, lotions, and deodorant. After that, you can worry about things like nail polish.
And take your time. The idea is to simplify and streamline this process and keep it from becoming a complicated chore.
Try New (and Better) Things
In the spirit of positive change, take this opportunity to try new things. Have you been using the same mascara for years? Try a new one. Are you in love with one particular eye cream? Branch out. Research has shown that the average woman sticks to the same makeup routine for about a decade and swear by their beloved beauty brand for about four years.
But there’s no time like the present to see what else is out there. There may even be something you love ten times more, but you’ll never know if you stay stuck in the same beauty rut for too long. And if nothing compares, you can always go back to your old faithfuls.
With that said, you might not want to. Over the years, we’ve learned more and more about what’s okay for our skin and what really isn’t. Some beauty products have become much safer and cleaner, while others remain just as toxic.
The key is to know what’s worth holding onto and what isn’t.
Those aforementioned studies revealed that more than half of women only said goodbye to their favorite beauty brands if the product they loved was discontinued, while others only abandoned the line if the price went up significantly. All too often, it had way too little to do with just how toxic the products really were.
If the average woman is unwittingly putting toxic chemicals on her skin for the better part of a decade, what are we really committing to when we refuse to try something new? Mixing things up could very well prove to be a blessing in disguise. If nothing else, spring cleaning your beauty routine will make you significantly more aware.
Given this opportunity to try something new from a more informed place, why not give beauty products that make you feel beautiful inside and out a chance? After all, spring cleaning is all about lighting needlessly heavy loads and developing healthier habits.