We all spend a lot of money on our skincare products – and over the course of the year, it all adds up.

We want to make sure we’re not wasting our money, but when products get stored all over the house (think handbag, dressing table, bathroom, cupboards), it’s easy for products to get buried at the back of a cabinet and forgotten.

You may even find a product lurking there that you don’t even remember buying (but please don’t start using it, you don’t know how old it is!).

Are you using the right products for your skin?

So first things first. Do you buy the right products for your skin type? Do you check the ingredients?

Where do you store your skincare products?

Many of our products have probably taken up permanent residence in specific places – in our makeup bags, purses and bathroom cabinets. But those so-called homes may actually be shortening their shelf life and reducing their effectiveness.

Simply moving your face cream from the bathroom to the fridge (yes, the fridge!) could make all the difference in its wrinkle-fighting or skin-clearing abilities.

Free up some room in your fridge

So what’s so good about the fridge? Cool temperatures can extend the shelf life of some products, and will make them feel so much more refreshing on your skin.

Clear space for any skincare products with retinol or Vitamin C – the cold temperatures slow down the degradation of both ingredients.

Speed up the de-puffing powers of your favourite eye cream and lower your skin temperature when applying after-sun products by keeping them cold.

It’s not all about the creams and serums though!

Keeping your nail polish in the fridge can help get rid of clumps, though you may need to shake it more vigorously to get rid of separation before you use it.

Reshape lipsticks that have melted in your purse or car – just make sure you take them out once they re-solidify, otherwise the chilliness can cause the oil and wax to separate over time.

Avoid freezing temperatures

As much as we love to store as much as possible in the freezer, I’m sorry to tell you that you can’t freeze your skincare products.

Extremely cold temperatures can be just as harmful to your products as heat. Emulsions like lotions, creams and conditioners can become very unstable if partially frozen and later thawed.

If you live somewhere where temperatures dip to freezing, remove products from window sills and relocate any products you have stored in the garage or basement. The great news is that we live in hot Dubai!

Skip the bathroom vanity

The steam from your shower is not doing your products any favours. If you’re not careful, water will condense on the surface of certain cosmetics and products, and start to generate mould. Not good!

Move any bath salts and scrubs, powders, and anything without a really strong seal (like compacts and eye shadows) somewhere dry. The same goes for any tools, like your beauty blender, that can become breeding grounds for mould if continually damp.

After cleaning, make sure you let it air dry outside the bathroom. The same goes for your make-up brushes.

Stay in the dark

Most of your make-up and skincare will be fine at room temperature as long as you store them out of direct sunlight. Sunlight accelerates the ageing of a product by heating it up, which can break down the active ingredients so they are no longer effective. This is really important to remember, considering where we live!

If your counter tops and dressing tables aren’t in the sun, and your products come in dark packaging (which blocks UV rays) you should be okay during the winter months. Having said that, it is best to store the majority of your products inside cabinets and drawers to keep them safe.

Do your skincare products expire?

Yes they do! Unopened skincare products will last longer than opened products as they’ve had less chance to be exposed to bacteria. But do be conscious of when you purchased your skincare products and when you first used them.

Products vary but in general, unopened skincare products can last anywhere from one to three years.

Moisturisers, face creams and eye creams that have already been opened can last from six months to a year, if stored in the right way.

Personally, I prefer to buy products 50ml a time, and that’s usually enough to last 3-4 months.

Is it safe to use an expired but unopened beauty or skincare product?

The danger with expired creams is not only that they’re less effective, but that they may cause irritation and possible bacterial infection. Products that are in a pump are less likely to contain bacteria, however creams in jars should be discarded after 6-9 months.

And finally, here are my tips to achieve healthy looking skin…

  1. Buy the right skincare products for your skin type and needs.
  2. Exfoliate regularly.
  3. Gently massage your face while cleansing and moisturising.
  4. Wear SPF

Written by British mum Hanna Byrne, muscle, sports, and skincare therapist and owner of Sands of Siwa.

Read more:

Stay sun savvy with our guide to the safest sunscreens 

Fitness trends in Dubai 

Pampering mummy and daughter style in Dubai

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