Weekly Quick Tips

Bathroom Clutter: How Do You Want to Feel?

We are what we surround ourselves with, and that goes for our bathrooms, which are jammed with things that may influence us in less than healthy ways. Take a look inside your medicine cabinet. Chances are you’ll find some very old personal care products and dried out tubes of over-the-counter drugs whose expiration dates have long since passed. It doesn’t seem healthful, physically or mentally, to keep this stuff around. Why remind yourself of old ailments? So, you have to decide whether you need to keep these things ‘just in case’, or if you intend to be well and not need them again. If you actually intend to be well, then decide right now, right here, how you are going to create that reality. Don’t underestimate the power of your intentions, especially those, conscious or not, that may be unhealthy.

  • Check the dates – after expiration dates have passed, certain medications and supplements have lost their potency and no longer work. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of them properly.
  • Determine what purpose it serves – if you take your supplements daily or use the products every morning, then you know they’re worth keeping. But what about the tensor bandage from your knee surgery five years ago? Same goes for the miles of gauze you brought home from the hospital. If you don’t need it, pass it on; some shelters and charities accept hospital supply donations.
  • Tackle the beauty projects – don’t overlook the rest of your bathroom drawers and cabinets. Ditch the dried-up cans of hairspray, the used-up lipsticks, and old brushes and combs. Some makeup, especially liquids and gels can develop bacteria once exposed to air, particularly anything you use your hands to apply. Check below, for our ‘time to toss it’ timetable.
  • Let go of mistakes – let go of barely used or never used items….the wrong colour lipstick, shampoo samples…. Whether you host a beauty swap with friends or simply donate samples to a shelter, giving good products new homes is the way to go.

Time to toss? The first thing to do when decluttering your bathroom cabinets is to get rid of everything too old to be effective or safe. Here’s how long makeup typically lasts:

Mascaras and liquid eyeliners ~ 3 to 4 months; they breed bacteria!

Liquid Makeup and cream eyeshadows ~ 1 year

Loose and pressed powders ~ 2 years; bacteria grows more slowly because they contain very little water.

Pencil lip liners and eyeliners ~ 2 years; sharpen them every few uses to keep them clean.

Lipsticks and glosses ~ 2 years; toss them as soon as they smell ‘off’ or feel waxy.

Sunscreens and acne products ~ 6 months; ingredients will degrade so check the expiration date.

Moisturizers ~ 1 to 2 years; because in a tub or jar they’re exposed to light and fingers, they become contaminated quickly. In a pump or tube they can last two years.

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