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  • Writer's pictureMJ

Disorganized bathroom? Check your product dates.

Want to know the secret to an organized bathroom? It's tossing out-of-date products.

Easy to say, but difficult to do! Because we spend our hard-earned dollars on these (not cheap) beauty products, it can be tempting to keep every jar of skin cream and tube of lip gloss for years.

But beauty products go bad and you could be doing your skin more harm than good. Using spoiled products can easily lead to skin irritations and infections.

Unopened cosmetics can remain stable for a couple of years at room temperature but once opened they are exposed to the air ingredients can start to oxidize and degrade.

Every time you touch your makeup or skin-care products you transfer germs to them – and then to your face. Heat and humidity also promote the growth of mold and yeast. So storing items in a cool, dry place such as a linen closet is recommended.


Labeling regulations in the United States do not require an expiration date on most beauty products so you'll have to keep track of when you opened them – or a date to toss. Most products contain a jar symbol with a number indicating the number of months it can be used after opening.

When you open the product just grab a Sharpie and note the purchase date. Or go with my preferred method of writing down the date the item will expire (much like medication). Do I recommend keeping a Sharpie in the bathroom drawer? You betcha.


Here are some simple guidelines for when to toss your beauty and skin care products:

  • Every season: Toss mascara and liquid liner.

  • Every six months: Toss skin care products, sunscreens and liquid foundation.

  • Every year: Toss hair products (except hair spray).

  • Every two years: Toss powder-based items (shadows, pressed powder), lipsticks, fragrance and nail polish.

Are you ready to clear some space in the bathroom? It can be difficult to tell if a product has gone bad, so start by checking for separation, dryness and a funky smell.

Need some assistance in making your bathroom a spa-like retreat? Give me a call at (608) 345-1836 to see how a professional organizer can help you.


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