We spend a lot of time curating our beauty products. We read countless reviews, look at multiple vlogs and debate about which products deserve our hard-earned money. But all of that research is for nothing if we don’t store our products correctly.
Beauty products are like food in that they have expiration dates and need to be stored properly to work effectively. Improper makeup storage can cause cosmetics to oxidize and the formulas to become damaged, which can lead to skin irritation and other nasty effects.
It may not surprise you that Instagram-approved makeup storage hacks aren’t always the best for products. What looks pretty can often compromise the formula, which means wasted money. To keep beauty products at their best, it’s important to know the right (and wrong!) way to store them. Here are some of the most common makeup storage mistakes to stop making now.
Storing products in the shower
Heat and humidity from the shower can cause ingredients in skin care and body products to break down faster. Not to mention that water can get inside and dilute the formula. We know it takes more work, but it’s best to bring products to the shower when you’re ready to use them and remove them when you’re done.
Forgetting to replace lids
Most of the time, we’re pretty diligent about putting the lids back on makeup and nail polish, but we should ensure all of our products are sealed up tight, states Taliah Waajid. Double-check lids are secure to prevent products from drying out and protect the formula from dust, debris and other contaminants.
Storing products in a hot area or direct sunlight
You may like the way the light hits your fancy product bottles, but storing beauty products in the sun for extended periods of time is a big no-no. Like the heat from the shower, the sun can cause active ingredients to break down. Waajid suggests storing products in a cool place to keep them at their best.
Keeping products on bathroom counters
The bathroom is a handy place to keep products, but it’s not the ideal location for storage. According to Alana Rivera, owner and creator of Etta + Billie, “Many products aren’t meant to handle the varying temperature which can speed up the oxidization and reduce the overall shelf life, causing some products to become potentially harmful to the skin.” Rather than storing cosmetics on counters, she suggests storing them in lower bathroom cabinets. Why? Hot air rises so the lower cabinets experience fewer temperature shifts. Storing cosmetics in the bedroom or closet near the bathroom is also a good option.
Putting makeup tools in a humid area
It’s not just makeup storage we have to worry about. Makeup tools also need to be kept in an area that isn’t humid. Model and makeup artist Stephany Andujar says that a humid environment can cause tools to sprout bacteria and even mold. Yuck. To keep tools in the best shape, she suggests investing in a plastic box container with a lid and ensuring tools are washed every 15 days.
Storing beauty tools with other products
Even in cramped quarters, it’s important to separate beauty tools and products. Mixing them together can cause the spread of product residue. Furthermore, delicate products like sponges and makeup brushes can get damaged. Therefore, have a separate compartment for tools and ensure that brushes are stored flat or with the bristles facing up so they won’t get bent out of shape.
Forgetting about the refrigerator
We know milk has to go in the fridge, but cosmetics? Some actually benefit from being in the fridge because it helps prolong their shelf life. Plus, refrigerated products have a welcome cooling effect when applied. There are actually many products that are meant to be stored in the refrigerator (see Lush’s fresh face masks). Before sticking products in the fridge, make sure the bottles are properly closed and that food is kept in a separate area from beauty products.
Putting products away dirty
It may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. Putting makeup tools away dirty gives bacteria the chance to form and spread. Similarly, don’t put away any products with hair, dirt or product residue on the caps, which could compromise the formula. At the very least, it will be more trouble trying to get it off later.