When it comes to our health and beauty products, we want to extend their shelf life for as long as possible. Here are five tips to try to extend the shelf life of your products.
Keep Things Clean
It is essential to pay attention to cleanliness when looking to preserve the shelf life of a product. While many products come with a natural shelf life, the accidental introduction of dirt and germs can corrupt the product and cause it to become unhygienic and unusable faster. If the elements in your health and beauty products start to separate or become rancid, you should stop using it immediately and instead repurchase a fresh item. This is because once dirt and germs live inside products, it can cause a whole host of skin problems, from minor irritation to rashes and allergic reactions. To prevent dust and bacteria from taking up residence in your favorite products, make sure you are washing your hands thoroughly before use, or ideally do not use fingers at all, which we will come onto later.
Beware of Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight can be very damaging for many health and beauty products, especially those that contain predominantly natural ingredients. This is because sunlight effectively heats the product, which encourages bacterias and other fungi to grow and make your health or beauty product unusable. Direct sunlight also causes many ingredients to break down and separate over time, which can be very damaging, and again mean you have to get rid of your products much faster. To avoid problems associated with direct sunlight, steer clear the storage of your items on window sills or bathroom shelves that get soaked in sunlight during the day. Although we might want to show off pretty bottles and luxurious containers, it is much better to keep all products in a cool, dark place such as a drawer or cabinet if you want to make the most of their shelf life.
Try To Use Tools
When it comes to extending the shelf life of health and beauty products, we have already seen that keeping things clean is paramount. Even washing your hands thoroughly before using a product is still not guaranteed to avoid the introduction of unwelcome bacteria or germs. Instead, it is best to ditch using your fingers altogether and instead opt for another tool when using your favorite products. Disposable tools, such as a cotton bud, are ideal as they can be used to scoop out however, much of the product you want to use and then be thrown away. This single-use helps to prevent any contamination by foreign bodies or other particles coming into contact with your creams and lotions. As using a specialist tool is now widely recognized within the beauty industry as a great way to extend product shelf life, often certain products, especially night creams and face masks, will come with their tool or scoop included in the lid. Just make sure to keep this tool scrupulously clean, and try to use it to ladle your desired amount of product onto the back of your hand, for example, to avoid it coming into contact with multiple different surfaces of your skin.
Minimize Air Exposure
Much like direct sunlight can play havoc with your health and beauty products, so can air exposure. Of course, some air exposure is unavoidable, but too much can quickly see a product become contaminated with germs and bacteria. This process of oxidation can result in your product going bad much faster than it should. Moreover, as oxidation is just the technical term for something losing electrons, it means that too much air exposure can lessen how well your product works overtime. Again, much like too much sunlight exposure, too much air exposure can make your product look and smell unsightly, but it can also end up being bad for your skin. The over oxidation of products can be very damaging, causing not only rashes and breakouts but also encouraging free radicals to be released by the skin, which can contribute to premature aging. One of the best ways to minimize air exposure is very simple – do not leave lids open or away from products for longer than when you are using them! Always replacing tops, caps, and lids after use will help to minimize any air exposure to your products and, thus, extend their shelf life.
Pay Attention To Expiration Dates
When it comes to choosing your health and beauty products, it can be useful to pay attention to the expiration date before making a purchase. If you want to buy a large bottle of luxury face cream that has a short shelf life inherently, you may decide to switch to a different brand instead of making the most of your money. Try to opt for brands that offer a reasonable length of shelf life and a good-sized product. Using your favorite products sparingly can also be a good tip if you want to make them last for longer, but remember that as soon as you notice a difference in smell, consistency, or color, it is time to toss them out and do a restock instead.
So the next time you purchase a brand new product, make sure to follow these five simple tips to extend their shelf life and get the most from your product for longer.