By Miriam C.R Mushaikwa

Ever wondered why your eyebrow pencil is flaking or why your lip gloss is gooey? Those moments you feel like “slaying” but you suddenly realise that something is wrong, your makeup starts ‘melting away’, soiling your white blouse and leaving you feeling very embarrassed! Well, sometimes as divas, the tendency to overlook the expiry dates on our cosmetics is quite common. In fact, when it comes to make up expiry dates, most of us will admit to not being all that clued up. So before keeping them beyond expiry…

Check the batch code
The batch code does matter when buying cosmetics because it determines when the product was made. Companies usually put a sticker at the bottom of the packaging or ink-mark the container, so the next time your see it, don’t assume it’s just for the lasers at the till point! Some products have an alternative option to expiration, as they highlight at the bottom using symbols like 3 M, 6 M, 12 M and 24 M which simply stands for Months. So before buying a product put the expiration dates into perspective because you might go for a cheaper option which lasts just as less!

Watch out for the smell
Batch buyers usually suffer severe losses because one thing that hurts the most is discarding a totally unused product! If you like hoarding perfumes and roll-ons, you might want to check expiry dates before filling the shopping cart because these products actually have a D-day. Sometimes, you might be forced to succumb to subdued odours in the lift and begin to wonder “what’s all this?” and the answer = expired contents! Lip glosses, lipsticks, hair products and body creams also produce subtly nasty smells when they’ve exhausted their life spans so this is a sign you should be wary of, always.

Products may go bad and be unsuitable for use even though the production date is still new. Here are a few tips on how to buy fresh cosmetics.

Do not buy cosmetics from display windows exposed to the sun. Sunlight damages cosmetics. The packaging heats up which speeds up aging, colour cosmetics fed and lose their intensity.

Do not buy cosmetics placed close to a light source. Strong light such as halogen heats cosmetics. If the storage temperature is too high, the products go bad quickly. If you are buying in a self-service shop, you can check the temperature by touching the product. If it is warm, it may already be spoiled, even before use.

Do not buy withdrawn cosmetics. If the seller advises you to purchase an older version but “better” version, check the production date.


Words of advice
: Whether you prefer using just a mask, lip products, foundations, eye pallets, or just body sprays: ALL cosmetic products have a shelf life. If overlooked, the beauty-personified appearance might end up being a total mess-up. So no matter how good the bottle contents look, once expired, just bin them and save your skin from reverse breakouts!


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