When was the last time you took a good look at the labels of all your skincare favourites and got really stuck in sorting out your bathroom cabinet? Don’t remember? Don’t worry, it’s not surprising that a skincare spring clean isn’t at the top of your ‘to do’ list with everything you have going on, but… because it really is a beneficial – and necessary – thing to do once a year, we’ve made it super simple – and quick – for you, with these six steps…
STEP 1: PAST ITS EXPIRY DATE? OUT IT GOES
Not only are we all guilty of using cosmetics past their expiration date but, truth is, many of us aren’t even aware of what the actual shelf-life is of most of the skincare products on our bathroom shelves. Product labels often contain all kinds of useful info – including how long the product is safe to use. That being said, not all expiry dates are 100% accurate so if it looks or smells suspicious, trust your gut and bin it. Using expired skincare products can cause irritation, infection and even acne.
Tip: On average, cleansers, serums and moisturisers can be used for up to a year.
STEP 2: CLEANSE YOUR MAKEUP APPLICATORS
Makeup applicators come in contact with your makeup products, bathroom counter, and your skin, making them breeding grounds for bacteria. So, whether you wear makeup every day or just a couple of times a week, you should be cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges once a week, every week. And, you should be replacing makeup sponges every three months, if not more often. High-end, good-quality makeup brushes are long-term beauty regime investments, so shouldn’t need to be replaced more than once a year, or every couple of years, if you’re taking regular ‘deep cleanse’ care of them.
Tip: You don’t need a special cleanser to clean your beauty brushes and sponges, just use a non-toxic soap, your regular facial cleanser or a clean makeup remover.
STEP 3: ‘TIS THE SEASON TO SWAP YOUR SKINCARE
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to switch out your skincare products based on the season, for example, replacing your thick, highly protective Winter moisturiser with a more lightweight, water-based formula that contains a higher SPF. But remember just because a product contains SPF doesn’t mean that you can skip applying a dedicated SPF product as your final skincare step.
Tip: Since spring is associated with allergies, consider adding some antioxidants, like Vitamin C, into your Spring skincare regime to help combat allergens.
STEP 4: DETOX FROM THE INSIDE OUT
It’s easy to just focus on the external when it comes to spring cleaning your skincare, what with all the cleaning and wiping down of sticky containers and ‘in height order’ organising of products on vanity shelves, but don’t forget about detoxing internally. Include paying special attention to ingredients to really earn your skincare spring cleaning stripes. Adding ingredients that detoxify the skin and eliminating ingredients that cause harm to the skin is a game-changer and a chance to educate yourself. The motto of many industry insiders is that “a beauty product is only as good as its worst offender.”
Tip: Start working towards a holistic skincare ‘detox’ by identifying and eliminating products that contain F-rated (toxic) ingredients and replacing them, one at a time, over time, with products bearing the ‘A Safety Grade’ stamp of approval.
STEP 5: PUT THE ‘CLEAN’ IN SPRING CLEAN
The reality is that most of our beauty collections and skincare regimes contain an alarming amount of toxic ingredients. So, consider replacing ‘toxic’ expired skincare products – the ones you’re going to be throwing out anyway – with clean versions. Investing in clean beauty products is investing in your health, and it’s the easiest way to eliminate toxic ingredients – no deciphering of complicated every letter of the alphabet labels required.
Tip: ‘Clean’ products and ‘natural’ products are not created equal. ‘Natural’ describes the purity of synthetic-free ingredients, sourced directly from nature. ‘Clean’ ingredients can be natural or man-made but are either proven safe or have shown no signs of being unsafe.
STEP 6: TRY SOMETHING(S) NEW
We get it, we’re creatures of habit. We use what we use because we’ve used it for years and it’s worked for us. So, why fix what’s not broken, right? Wrong! The skincare industry is one of the fastest-evolving industries, constantly innovating and discovering new and improved ways, means and formulations, so you can keep levelling up in the skincare department.
Tried a ‘clean’ cleanser a couple of years back and wasn’t impressed? Well, we can guarantee that clean skincare has come a long way over the past 12 months in particular. So, now’s the time to replace ‘old faithful’ (which could very well contain cancer-causing chemicals) with what could very possibly be a new favourite, and a clean slate for your skin.
Tip: Seize the opportunity to use Spring cleaning your skincare routine to really question every single product you apply to your face, and inspire you to do your homework, educate yourself, and turn over a new, less toxic skincare leaf.