Spring cleaning your personal care products

Spring Blossoms | Frederick Maryland | Safer Skincare | By Sarah Rae

According to blooms on the fruit trees in my backyard, spring is here. I have been feeling that seasonal pull to eat a little lighter, purge my wardrobe and streamline my side of the bathroom sink. You may be aware of my personal journey toward safer skincare and makeup, but helping folks find safer personal care products is super important to me. If you too have been thinking of doing a little spring cleaning, self-care style, here are some tips to help you through.

Check your products for their expiration date. Skincare and makeup expires, just like food.

When it comes to skincare, there should be a number on the bottom of the bottle or tube. However, you might not be able to find it because it isn’t always legally required to do so. Moving forward, my recommendation would be to write the date you opened a product on the bottle/tube.

If you can’t locate the expiration date (or you know when you opened a product) here are a few rules to try and live by.

  • Mascara and liquid eye makeup should be replaced approx. every three months.

  • Liquid foundation & lipstick are good for about one year.

  • Body lotions, sunscreen and moisturizers are good for 1-2 years.

  • Acne products are good for about six months.

  • Find a few more recommended expiration dates click here.

Also, don’t forget about your senses of sight, smell and touch. If you suspect your product has changed in color, texture or even just feels different on your skin, it’s probably expired and should be thrown away.

Dig in and find out what’s in your products. If you’re not sure of an ingredient, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database or download the app to check the safety ratings on ingredients and brands.

Here are a few ingredients to absolutely look out for:

  1. Benzalkonium chloride is a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation and allergies. It’s often found in sunscreens and moisturizers.

  2. Oxybenzone is a sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption. It’s found in chemical sunscreen (opt for mineral ones) and moisturizer.

  3. Parabens are a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endorine (aka hormone) distruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. It’s found in shampoo, face cleansers, body wash, body lotion and foundation.

  4. Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others) are a class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disprupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. They can be found in synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray and plastic materials.

  5. “Fragrance” this is a term that is used to cover up a lot of sh**. Synthetic flavor or fragrance is an engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. These toxic cocktails are found in all types of cosmetics.

Beautycounter | Safer skincare | Frederick Maryland | By Sarah Rae

Replace expired and unsafe products with safer, healthier alternatives.

If you’re looking for an easy way to begin, start with the things that sit on your skin the longest. Things like moisturizers, foundation, sunscreen and make up (like foundation and lip stick). After that, I’d recommend finding a “game-changer” product. Something like Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel that will have a big impact on your skin. From there, you can simply work on finding alternatives as other things run out.

Beautycounter is my go-to brand for makeup and skincare and they are one of a growing number of companies working to disrupt the skincare industry. Meaning they are making your health their top priority, not filling their products with toxins that are wreaking havoc on you.

I’d love to help you with your product spring cleaning, fill out my quick skin care questionnaire and I’ll be able to suggest a few products to start with. (If there’s something specific you’re hoping to swap out make sure to tell me in the “extra notes” section.)

*Please note, I am a Beautycounter consultant which means I do receive a commission for any purchases made through my links. But know I decided to partner with Beautycounter because I believe in their mission of safer skincare for everyone and absolutely love the products. I wouldn’t be sharing them with you otherwise.*