When you go into your bathroom at home, are you scared not only to look into the mirror, but also to take a peek into your medicine cabinet or vanity? Many people’s bathrooms hold lots of past regrets – the foundation that was supposed to be perfect, but was instead the wrong shade, the shampoo that promised more volume but just left your hair feeling heavy. As 2016 gets going, it’s as good a time as any to get rid of those products that aren’t doing you any good. In fact, keeping some items around and actually using them can do more harm than good when it comes to maintaining a youthful look.
Products You’ve Given Up On
Sometimes, what seems like it will be a perfect product is anything but. Perhaps you purchased a lotion with retinol in it, only to experience irritation. Or, that facial cleanser that worked so well for your friends just made you break out. If you’re not going to use a product and it’s caused you trouble, there’s no sense in keeping it around just in case.
What you do with the product depends on its condition and age. Skincare products do expire, and there are some clues that an item is past its prime. If it’s developed a lumpy consistency or has separated, you’re best off just throwing it away. But, if you’ve only had it for a few weeks and haven’t used much of it, you might be able to donate it to a women’s shelter or other charity.
Your Old Loofah
Loofahs or exfoliating sponges have a shelf life. And it’s probably a lot shorter than you think it is. Over time, your sponges can collect bacteria, as all those nooks and crannies in the sponge give bacteria plenty of places to hide. When you use the rough surface of it to cleanse your skin, you are essentially increasing your risk for infections of the skin. This year, ditch the loofah in favor of a washcloth or exfoliating gloves, which you can easily throw in the wash every few days or so.
You know that exposure to the sun’s UV rays speeds up the aging process. That’s why you take sunscreen so seriously. But, if you’re using last summer’s sunscreen this summer, you might not be doing yourself any favors. Over time, sunscreen loses its effectiveness and isn’t able to provide adequate protection. Plus, keeping your sunscreen in a hot environment, such as in your car in the middle of summer, accelerates it breakdown. For the most protection, make sure you use enough sunscreen every day and switch out your bottle every few months.
Expired Prescription Products
The prescription retinol product or the prescription strength acne treatment might have cost a pretty penny. But, that’s no excuse to keep them around. As topical prescription products age, they become less effective. But, their side effects don’t become less effective. That means you might experience redness or irritation from a product with retinol, without seeing any of its benefits. Try to use up any prescription products well before the expiration date printed on them. If you can’t, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right way to get rid of them.
Makeup That Just Wasn’t Right
Across the US, there are vanities full of makeup and cosmetics that just weren’t right. Perhaps you bought a lipstick that was the wrong shade of pink or that just way too dark. Or, the mascara you thought would be great caused your lashes to clump together. You also want to get rid of makeup that you do like but just haven’t been able to use in time. Eye makeup and skin makeup, such as powder and foundation, have the shortest shelf life, around three months. Bacteria can collect on them and cause breakouts or irritation after that point.
A Worn Out Hairbrush
How long have you had your hairbrush? The answer might be too long. The more you use a brush, the more likely it is that the bristles can start to splinter or crack, actually damaging your hair each time you use it. If you’ve started to notice a change in the way your hair feels after your brush it or that your hairbrush looks a lot worse for wear, it’s time to upgrade. Look for a brush with natural boar bristles, which will help distribute your hair’s oils evenly.
If you are wondering what else you can do to improve your skin care and beauty routine for the New Year, Dr. Jessica Kulak, an aging face specialist and board certified facial plastic surgeon at the Naderi Center, can help. She can recommend a variety of treatments and products to you to help your skin look its best. For an appointment with Dr. Kulak at the practice in Virginia, call 703-481-0002 today. For a consultation at the practice in Maryland, call 301-222-2020.