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Published on April 01, 2021

3 makeup brushing sitting on top of makeup holders

Why your makeup drawer needs a spring cleaning

Chances are good that you'll spend some time deep cleaning parts of your house as the weather warms up and the days get longer. That junk drawer in the kitchen? Organized. The closet with all the coats? Coordinated by season. Amid all the tidying up, though, don't forget about one often overlooked area: Your makeup and skincare products. Letting these items pile up could sabotage your beauty goals—and even put your health at risk.

Why is it important to spring clean your beauty products?

While some unopened products can last for several years, an item's shelf-life is limited as soon as you open it. And, once the clock starts ticking, it's only a matter of time before the product goes bad. Not only do old products not work as effectively—think clumpy mascaras and crumbly powders—they also can grow bacteria that can irritate your skin and cause acne or infections.

How often should you toss old products?

  • Mascara and liquid eye liners: Every three months
  • Sunscreen: Every six months
  • All other products: Every year

The above guidelines are good rules of thumb to follow, but if you notice that any of your products are starting to smell different, separating, drying up or just not going on evenly or smoothly anymore, it's time to drop them in the garbage.

And don't forget…

Makeup brushes also can harbor bacteria, so aim to clean these at least once a week. Not cleaning your brushes is like rubbing a dirty washcloth or sponge on your skin, causing acne, infection and potential irritation.

To clean your brushes, simply:

  1. Wash your brushes with warm water and a gentle cleanser.
  2. Remove excess water and lay flat to dry.

Once your brushes are clean, it's best to store them in a drawer or case where they have limited exposure to air. Even with weekly cleaning, you should still plan to replace them every few years.

Pro tip: You also can disinfect your brushes in between cleanings by spraying them with a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide after every use and wiping them on a paper towel.

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