Do you remember the last time you replaced your hairbrush? Or did you buy a new pair of tweezers? Makeup sponge, maybe? Besties, it’s time for a reality check: Beauty tools, like the coconut milk in your RN fridge, have an expiration date. Before you roll your eyes, imagine all the little bacteria lurking in the ride or die that have served you well since year 8. See why we’re worried? DW, that’s how you know when it’s good instruments break.
1. Beauty sponges
Date of Expiry: Three to six months after first use.
The tea in the tool: Our makeup sponge is rightfully our best friend, and we go to great lengths to keep it in tip-top shape. That includes lovingly bathing her (read: soap) to rinse off any leftover product after each use. However, we know that it picks up (and retains) all the dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria from our face, if we don’t clean it thoroughly, and puts it back on our face the next time we build our base oh!
When it smells funky, it looks defeat – small tears or a lopsided appearance, or just doesn’t feel as soft after a deep clean, it’s time to say goodbye.
2. Makeup brushes
Date of Expiry: It depends on the state of health of the brush.
The tea in the tool: Brushes, like makeup sponges, also have a good time with tiny bacteria chilling on your face. The more you use them, the more they will need a good rinse with soap and water; although we recommend making it a weekly ritual. However, many factors determine its expiration date: general cleanliness, handle wear, and bristle fullness and softness. Ideally, a set of standard brushes can last between one and five years, *provided* you take good care of it. But we suggest adding a new game to your cart once the above qualities decline.
Date of Expiry: As long as they don’t do the job.
The tea in the tool: Ok, the tweezers are made of stainless steel, which doesn’t exactly expire… But you will notice a sharp drop in quality over time. Like all tools on the block, pluckers experience the regular phenomenon of “wear”. In other words, they gradually lose their ability to grab those little stray strands with pinpoint accuracy, not exactly what you want to hear, right? When this happens, follow the relationship rule: if they’re slacking off, throw them out.
4. Facial and body razors
Date of Expiry: After five to seven shaves.
The tea in the tool: The American Academy of Dermatology confirms our worst teenage nightmare; disposable razor blades and razors have a shelf life of about five to seven shaves (gulp). Your razors tend to pick up a lot as they travel around your body: hair, shaving cream, and dead skin cells, to be precise. This built-up buildup of dirt gets trapped between the blades and needs to be rinsed out after each pass.
Unfortunately, the water can only do so much: there will still be fragments lurking around, which can spread and infect any dented areas. Blades also lose their “sharpness” over time, so a super close shave is out of the question. Send your six-month-old razor in the trash, best friend; she will only give you an uneven shave, redness, or worse, burning!
Date of Expiry: After six months of use (yes).
The tea in the tool: Your hairbrush (or fork, if you’re Princess Ariel) is a hub for not-so-good stuff like bacteria, dirt, and dust. These invisible bits accumulate with every stroke and cling to the brush bristles for dear life, often becoming impossible to remove without regular cleaning. If that wasn’t enough, your brush also picks up excess hair, scalp debris and lingering product, which you pour back into your strands during the next brushing.
Get into the habit of cleaning your hairbrush every two weeks or so: remove loose hair, then soak the brush in a mixture of hot water and clarifying shampoo for about four minutes. If you notice missing bristles or tips in the process, it’s time to say goodbye because these loose ends could get caught in their holders and cause breakage.
Okay, now that you know your due dates, here are some awesome beauty tricks you need on your radar.