When To Keep And When To Toss Your Favourite Grooming Products

All good things must come to an end and that includes your favourite sunscreen, face wash, shaving cream and lip balm. Yet, how do you know when to toss your hydrating face cream or cologne, especially if you’ve been storing it in the fridge, at the back of your hall closet or on a shelf next to the shower in the bathroom? Follow these tried and true tips and tricks to max out your products before you have to haul them out and into the trash.

Know your products’ expiry dates
Sometimes stamped in ink or printed on the bottle or container’s packaging is your product’s expiry date. You can typically find it along the bottom half of the container or on the bottom part of the product or it’s packaging. If you can’t find this best before number, you can always create your own Period After Opening (PAO) timeline. Simply grab a sharpie pen, open your new product, calculate 30 months ahead and then, write the date with the sharpie pen onto your product. Some products will even feature a PAO number directly on them, reading 3M (three months) or 24M (24 months) etc, which translates as the number of months the product is good for and will safely last before needing to be thrown in the garbage.

Know how to properly store your grooming products after they’ve been opened
Most products like deodorant, toothpaste, skincare and shaving products can survive beneath the sink or in the medicine cabinet in your bathroom. Others, such as skincare items inclusive of sensitive chemical ingredients like Retinols and AHAs or your perfumes, fragrances and colognes will last longer when kept in a closet or cupboard outside of the bathroom’s steam and heat and without access to direct sunlight.

Know how to handle your products for longevity
Washing your hands with soap and water before dipping a finger into a tub of shaving cream or night cream can cut down on the amount of bacteria transferred from your skin to the product. Using a q-tip or a clean knife or mini spatula to scoop out a product’s formula is another great way to keep your products cleaner longer. Additionally, never add water to your moisturizer, body lotion, mascara or otherwise to try to make it last longer. If you do, all you’re actually doing is contaminating the formulation and creating a petri dish for bacteria to grow, which can cause infections, irritations and more.

Know your Dos and Don’ts

  • DO tighten/secure lid/closure after each use.
  • DON’T let your products sit in your car on a hot day. This includes being in your gym bag, locked in the trunk.
  • DO toss eye products, including mascaras and eyeliners, if you’ve had an eye infection or experienced harsh allergy symptoms.
  • DON’T share your products with others, including your significant other and family members.

Adriana Ermter

Adriana is an award-winning writer and editor. The former beauty director for FASHION magazine and editor-in-chief of Salon and of Childview magazines has hosted beauty videos for fashionmagazine.com, as well as contributed to Men’s FASHION, Chatelaine and chatelaine.com, Flare and flare.com, Huffington Post Canada, National Post, AmongMen.com, thekit.ca, iVillage.ca and thewhaleandtherose.com. She lives in Toronto with her very spoiled feline, Trixie-Belle, and a fantastically large perfume collection.

You may follow Adriana on Twitter: @AErmter and on Instagram: AdrianaErmter.

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