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Spring Clean Your Beauty Drawer

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In this Article

Beauty Products and Their Use by Date
The Risks of Using Out of Date Beauty Products
The Benefits of Keeping Things Fresh
Finances and Environmental Concerns
Now is the Time to Make the Change!
The Sönd Effect

It’s March, which means that we’re officially in the spring, hurrah! After what has felt like the longest, darkest and most difficult winter on record, we’re finally in the season of new beginnings, fresh starts, lighter, longer days and warmer weather. Plus, with the coronavirus restrictions beginning to gradually ease, there really is light at the end of that very long tunnel.

With all these new beginnings, here at Sönd Head Office, we’re excitedly making plans for all the things we’re itching to do. Picnics in the park, beer gardens with long missed friends, holidays (and that’s after a normal winter of hibernation, let alone Covid) and giving our homes (and offices) a spring clean.

For us, spring cleaning means a fresh new coat of paint in our bedrooms, new bed linen and an excuse to own more scatter cushions. (They have to match the decor, right?!)

It also means giving our bathroom shelves, dressing tables and makeup bags a refresh. But does it matter how long we have skin care products and makeup open for? What might happen if we keep things open for longer than they should be? Are some products better used fresh?

As ever, we took it upon ourselves to find out…

Beauty Products and Their Use by Date

Take a look at your nearby hand cream or tube of foundation, and you’ll see a small icon of an open pot or jar with a number next to it. (It’s probably somewhere on the back near the bottom.) This is called its Period After Opening, or PAO date.

Essentially, this means that if you see a little “12M” next to the open jar icon, then this product is best used within 12 months of opening. We go into more detail on this in our blog post,When Should I Throw Away Skin Care Products?

So, just like food, the products we use on our skin actually do have a use by date. It’s helpful if you have a rough idea of when you opened a product, but if you suspect, or know, that it’s past its PAO, then it’s best to throw it away in favour of a new one.

Top tip - we love a Sharpie to write the month and year of opening on the side of a  product. Failing that, keep a little notebook by your makeup bag or bathroom cabinet.

The Risks of Using Out of Date Beauty Products

Unlike food, most items of makeup and skin care won’t look or smell ‘off’ if they’re past their best. Let’s take mascara as an example. When you open a tube of mascara, you can’t really see into it. Which means that you won’t really be able to tell if it’s still ok to use.

But if it’s been open for a lot longer than recommended (which is around three to six months) then using it could cause eye irritation or infection. Itching, stinging, watery eyes or bleariness could indicate that your mascara needs to be changed to a fresh one.

Using expired skin care products on our face can also cause irritation and possible breakouts. So if your skin is sensitive, acne prone or has a penchant for stressing out over the slightest thing, then be especially mindful of making sure you’re not using old skin care products.

The same goes if you notice patches of dryness or itching that could indicate a reaction to an old product.

There are some signs that we can look out for that can indicate that a product is out of date. Signs include clumping, lumping drying out, discolouration, splitting and visible mould growth. But if in doubt, chuck it out. 

The Benefits of Keeping Things Fresh 

With some products, it’s not just their texture and appearance that we need to think about in terms of them going out of date. Natural products that don’t contain any preservatives may not last very long at all, especially if your bathroom is particularly hot or cold.

Skin care products that contain active ingredients may also have a shorter shelf life due to the nature of their ingredients. They may become considerably less effective and if they’re very expensive, then they may render themselves pretty useless and pricey quite quickly.

Also, with products that you might berelying on for sunscreen, SPFs can become less effective as time goes on. As a general rule, only keep them open foraround 12 months. So if the last time you went abroad was pre Covid, and you brought your opened SPFs home, then you definitely need new sun care products when we’re all allowed to travel again! 

Finances and Environmental Concerns 

This is also the perfect time to rethink how and why we buy all those bottles, tubes and tubs. Whilst it’s good to experiment, is it reallynecessary to have so many skin care products? Doing so is also harmful to both our bank balance and the environment.

Getting drawn into plush marketing, seemingly unbelievablescientific claims, fancy social media ads and irresistible “buy one get one free” deals can do more harm than good… 

The impact on our hard earned cash

For a start, if these products don’t benefit our skin type, or worse, makes our contrary skin play up and break out, then they’re a waste of money. They’ll then sit at the back of our bathroom cupboards or stay hidden in our dressing table drawers, in the hope that one day, they’ll suddenly work for us.

Which, let’s face it, we all do, as we can’t stand the thought of just throwing something away if it doesn't work for us, despite trying. It’s a bit like those jeans that hang in our wardrobes season after season. We know they’re no good for us, either because they don’t fit or they make us feel uncomfortable.

But we hang onto them, in denial about clearing them out. (If this is you, hello spring clean! If they’re wearable, donate them to charity. If not, then they can be cut up and turned into hardy all purpose cleaning cloths, perfect for those really grubby jobs.) 

The impact on the planet 

All that aside, what about the environmental effect? Most skin care products come in plastic packaging, including ours (although ours is responsible packaging). Plastic is safe, hygienic, lightweight and durable, making it ideal for containing the products of our beauty regime. Paper, for example, wouldn’t be much cop, and glass is heavy andhas a fairly heavy carbon footprint in terms of shipping and storage.

So until a better solution arises, the chances are, our skin care products will be packaged in plastic. But as we all know, plastic is a demon when it comes to the environment. Even if it enters the recycling stream, this is still acarbon heavy process. And besides, plastic manufacture is a dirty business too.

Therefore, buying a basket full of skin care goodies that may or may not work for you, is a risky business in terms of plastic consumption. If it sits in your drawer before being thrown out a year or two later, it’s not great for the planet.

We’ve all been there. Testing and trialling, working out what’s best for our skin that likes to act up when it feels like it. But is there an answer? Yes! 

Now is the Time to Make the Change! 

Perhaps your beauty spring clean is the perfect time to change your habits too. Sticking to a brand of skin care and makeup that you know benefits and supports the needs of your skin and lifestyle will help you to save money and the environment by avoiding purchases that don’t serve either well.

That’s where we come in… TheSönd range of skin care products have been developed with the needs of stressed out, oily, inflamed, irritated or acne prone skin. But even if you have dry skin or relatively ‘normal’, calm skin, it’ll still benefit you. 

The Sönd Effect 

Our hero ingredient is our silica salt complex, an alkalising complex that nourishes the skin deep within the lower layers, helping to soothe and calm irritated or non conformist skin. Once you start using our cream cleanser and day and night moisturisers, you’ll join the legions of fans who have never looked back. Our toner, serum and face mask complete the set and are all you need for an effective, nourishing skin care regime.

What’s more, all our products have been made using the expertise ofskin care scientists. Plus, we know they work, because we too have acne prone skin, and they’ve kept our skin calm and under control! (That’s why we developed them in the first place, as we couldn’t find anything that worked.)

So next time you’re looking for the perfect skin care products to care for your skin, check us out. You won’t be disappointed, we promise. And you can say goodbye to unused, ineffective products in your next spring clean!


Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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