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The term “Spring Cleaning” is popular this time of year. It is time to do a makeover of our homes, wardrobes and selves. It is when we get to store away the bulky winter coats and open the drawer that has all of last year’s shorts and tank tops. Some might be out of style or stretched out beyond repair… so we haul off the old to make room for the new.

I go through my closet twice a year. If I have not worn it in the last year (unless it is a specialty item like a formal dress), it goes in the sell/give away pile. Likewise if workout clothes, t-shirts, pajamas are worn or stretched out, they get tossed.

The same needs to be done with our makeup bags and the skincare products piling up under the bathroom sink! Different seasons and weather call for different skincare regimens.

Are you holding on to a random eyeshadow because you used it once in 2014 and you think you might wear it again? Or are you keeping a three year old night cream because it is only half used and was painfully expensive? Such decisions are never going to benefit the health or look of your skin. Expired cosmetics and skincare products work less efficiently and can also damage the skin. Consistency of the products change, and active ingredients become compromised. Inflammation, redness, breakouts, swelling and infection can be a few of the effects from using soiled skincare and bacteria infested products.

Every product has a shelf life of a few months to a few years from the PAO= Period After Opening. Marking products with a sharpie of the date opened is a good habit to get into. If you have to question how long something has been lurking in your cabinet, chances are you should throw it out. Risking a breakout or fungal infection on your face will not be worth it! Some tips to remember:

o Liquid or emollient textured products get contaminated a lot faster than powders.

o If it has a funky smell or different color than when you bought it, toss it.

o Cleaning brushes and sponges should be normal monthly maintenance. Washing and disinfecting brushes is an important step to keeping healthy skin. Make sure you allow air to circulate 360 degrees around damp brushes, hanging them over the edge of your vanity or bathroom sink. Laying them flat on a clean towel will not allow the center to dry, potentially causing mold and bacteria to grow which will eventually be distributed to your skin all while spreading to your palettes and powders.

o Wipe down the inside of your makeup bag with antibacterial wet wipes every 1-2 months.

o Throw out and replace sponges.

Here is a Cheat Sheet for when to make it a DITCH DAY:

MAKEUP: o Mascara= 3 months

o Cream, liquid or stick foundations = 6-12 months

o Powdered products (blush, bronzers, pressed powder)= 2-3 years **Soaking pressed powders and palettes in isopropyl alcohol and allowing to fully dry before use will help keep bacteria levels down, thus improving the shelf life. It will not, though, keep the pigment intensity from fading.

o Lipstick, lip pencils= 2 years

o Lip gloss or stain (liquid) =6 months

SKINCARE: o Cleansers= 12 months

o Toners=6-12 months

o AHA/BHA exfoliates= 12 months

o Moisturizers or serums =12 months

o Lip treatments, balms = 6-8 months

Now that you have fresh products, what else can you do for you skin heading into spring and summer?

FACIAL The perfect time to get a facial is the start of every season. Our skin needs to be equipped for the variances between heaters and air conditioners, season allergies, and ski vacations versus beach vacations. We see our skin everyday so it might be harder to notice the environmental effects, but an aesthetician will detect all skin issues and give you the tools to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

EXFOLIATE Winter seems to leave our skin dull and dry. Yes, even Austin’s winter. When spring hits, we tend to be more active and often times sweaty. If the exfoliation step gets skipped, all of the dry dead skin cells will remain on the surface of the skin leading to enlarged pores, blackheads and deeper creases or wrinkles. One of my favorite exfoliating masks is Pure Enzymes by Cosmedix.

It has antioxidants from cranberries, and the enzymes act like PacMan eating away the built up dead skin and impurities. Speak to an aesthetician about an exfoliating mask or product that is right for you.

HYDRATION It is so important to keep yourself hydrated, and the truth will come out…on your face. If the appearance of skin around your eyes is a concern, 4 out of 5 times it is due to dehydration. Drinking an appropriate amount of water is just as important as what you apply on your skin! Always use a moisturizer as it forms a topical barrier of hydration on your skin to hold in water. I find that most people typically need a heavier moisturizer in the colder seasons but can switch to a lighter one in the spring. My favorite warm weather moisturizer is Mystic by Cosmedix. It is a refreshing light spray that can be used even by those who have oily or acne and can be applied under makeup or spritzed as a refresher throughout the day. Remember that your pores open more in the warmer weather and therefore will absorb more product. Do your SPRING CLEANING and make sure that you are putting new, healthy products and makeup on your skin!

**Disclaimer: I am not an aesthetician or a medical provider. I do run a medical clinic and medspa, though, and am knowledgeable about these facts under the advisement and personal consultation with our med spa provider. Please check with your own dermatologist or aesthetician before trying any new products or treatments.


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