Skin Care Series #3: Clean Beauty Products for a Healthy Face

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If you’re like many women, you have a make-up bag, or two, and if you had to write down everything in said bag, you might not be able to accomplish the task without taking a peek. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to give your bag, or bags, an old-fashioned spring cleaning.

As we’ve established in previous Skin Care Series pieces, bacteria is the enemy of beautiful skin, and it’s lurking everywhere and breeding constantly. 

Pro-Tips for Keeping Your Makeup Fresh and Clean

We are diving into some fan favorite pro-tips from Renée Loiz, a Los Angeles based celebrity make-up artist. Loiz is the resident beauty expert for The Blackbird House and founder of Color May Vary, a Black-owned beauty resource and wellness guide.

Lifespan of Powder, Lip, and Mascara Products 

In general, powder products last 2-3 years, but if it’s discolored or has developed a scent, it’s best for the trash, not your face. Lip products also last around two years. Mascara is only good for six months. Six months sounds like a short time in the life of makeup, but if your mascara begins to dry out, it’s not doing the job you bought it to do — and you could end up with an infection.

Liquid and Cream Products

Liquid and cream products — foundation, cream liners, etc. — last a year. Makeup is expensive and can be hard to part with. If you’re tempted to keep something past the shelf life, imagine you’re applying the contents of a petri dish to your face. That image quickly cured my desire to hold on to old products, no matter how much they cost to replace.

Expiration Dates

While some products have an actual date on the bottom, Loiz shared that others might say 6M or 18M (meaning the product is good for 6 or 18 months from the purchase date). If you can’t remember when you bought it, it’s too old for you to be using it.

Brushes, Beauty Blenders, and Sponges 

Brushes, beauty blenders, and sponges hold a lot of product — and bacteria — so they need to be washed more frequently than most of us are washing them. If you use them daily, wash them weekly. There are a lot of cleansers on the market, or you can use baby shampoo. After washing your brushes, rinse them well and let them air dry flat so the bristles are free to breathe. The edge of the counter with the bristles over the edge is perfect. 

Eye and Lip Pencils

If you use eye and lip pencils, you probably also have a sharpener. That, too, should be emptied often and Q-tipped down with alcohol. I wipe my pencils with an alcohol pad before I sharpen them.


Since I’m a lipstick kind of girl even when I’m alone in the house, I make sure to clean them by swiping them on a paper towel and wiping them off with alcohol pads every once in a while. And of course: It’s not advisable to share make-up with anyone.

False Eyelash Care

When false eyelash strips are part of your makeup kit, be sure to use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol to wipe off the band so the glue residue is washed away. Afterward, put the strip back in the case so they hold their shape. With proper care they will last at least 10 wears.

For eyelash curler fans, frequently replace the black strips, otherwise it’s as though you are using the same mascara for years and years and years.

Don’t Forget Your Makeup Bag

Your makeup bag houses all your pretty products and also needs a good cleaning every once in a while. Ideally, you’ll be able to toss your bag in the washer every now and then — or buy a new washable bag, and designate the original to house your lipsticks and items that have their own cases.

The Bottom Line

All of these steps require extra time and consideration, but keeping our makeup clean is an investment in ourselves. Makeup is an investment, and keeping it clean ensures we get the most out of it without compromising our pocketbooks or, most importantly, our skin health.

This post is part three of a three-part series that examines skin care. If you missed them, you can find part one here and part two here

Tags: Self Care, Skin Care, wellness

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Written By

Simbi Hall

Filmmaker Simbiat Hall graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major from the Institute... See Full Bio

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