Is your make-up bag a ticking time bomb?

By Susannah Edwards

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I don’t often spring clean my beauty bag, in fact, I can’t remember the last time I threw out an item of make-up. It just seems so wasteful to chuck out half-used products. Last night I spent half an hour rooting through the big box under my bed where my old make-up resides and discovered just how bad my hoarding had become – not only did I discover a seven-year-old eye shadow but I’m sure I spotted a frosted lipstick from my GCSE days.

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I’m not alone. Recent research conducted by Debenhams has suggested that the average age of cosmetics in British women’s make-up bags is an unhygenic four years – exposure to both air and bacteria can increase the risk of irritation and infection, not what you want to be applying to your eyes and mouth!

There are actually specific European Union guidelines cosmetic brands have to abide by on this – all UK cosmetics retailers have to include details of a product’s shelf life on the packaging. So just what is the RIP date of our make-up? Here’s what Debenhams suggests:

Mascara – 4-6 months

Liquid foundation – 12 months

Eye shadow and blusher – 18-24 months

Face Powder – 12 months

Lip Balm – 24 months

Lipstick and lip gloss – 12-24 months

Liquid highlighter – 6 months

Pass me the bin liners.

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