How to properly store your skincare products
It’s Spring! Temperatures are rising, you’re planning summer trips, and you’ve maybe squeezed in your last laser appointment of the season. But before summer fun can begin, don’t you owe it to yourself to do a bit of spring cleaning? Swapping out some items in your closet is an obvious place to start, but what about taking a closer look at your medicine cabinet and ensuring that your skincare products are as healthy as your skin?
While finding a mask or bottle of serum you bought a couple of years ago and forgot about can feel like a small win, it’s more likely those products belong in the trash. Skincare products, like food and medication, have a shelf life, and there are ways to ensure both their longevity and maximum effectiveness throughout their usage.
Here are a few high-level tips on how to store and organize your skincare in order to get the most out of them.
1. Stick to the original container
Have you ever owned a skincare product that came in a dark-tinted bottle that made it impossible to see how much is left? Well, as frustrating as that can be, skincare containers are often specially designed to protect their ingredients from light, air, and moisture. It’s always best to keep your products in the packaging they arrived in, with one exception: travel-size containers. When traveling, just ensure you’re only bringing as much as you need since most products (aside from cheap facial cleansers, for example) shouldn’t be put back into the original container.
2. Watch expiration dates
Like we said, skincare is just like medicine in that it's often science-based, it’s healing, and it expires! Always check the expiration date on your products and try organizing them in such a way that you more frequently use products that expire quickly. This is especially true of sunscreen and skincare products with fragile or organic ingredients. Some examples include vitamin C products and cream moisturizers as opposed to moisturizers that are oil-based. And here’s a bonus tip: as tempting as it can be to buy your skincare in bulk (on Black Friday, for example), only go this route if you’re confident you can use it all before it expires!
3. Store in a cool and dark place
Medicine cabinets are called medicine cabinets for a reason. If you’re going to keep your products in the bathroom, ensure they are stored in a cool and dark place and that they aren’t exposed to humidity, moisture, or direct sunlight. This can accelerate the spoiling process for a number of ingredients. A bedroom or closet is an even better storage place than the bathroom, especially if you take long showers!
4. Ensure oils are stored especially well
While the tips above are broadly applicable to all types of skincare, you need to be especially careful with oils and serums (especially when they’re organic!). That’s because oils and serums are extra susceptible to air exposure, which causes them to oxidize and can rapidly reduce their effectiveness. Not only is proper storage important, but you must also ensure that the lids are sealed tight every time you put them away.
Khalid El Khatib is a Brooklyn-based writer and marketer who tweets too much.