This week’s article moves away from bugs but we are not yet done with other “nasties” albeit that they are essential in the bigger picture, namely the ecology.
Our tale begins with a typical woman who aims to look glamorous and has all the tools of the trade at her disposal, namely a great range of makeup.
Work beckons, time is tight so she skips washing her face and commences the ritual by putting foundation onto her fingers and applies as usual.
To obtain a matt finish she applies face powder, dusts on some blusher and powdered eye shadow.
She then pumps the wand of the mascara into the tube and applies the product to her eyelashes and completes the eye makeup with eyeliner.
The clock is ticking but luckily she is almost done with the last application, that of lipstick. This routine is no doubt familiar to thousands of women worldwide, so what’s the big deal? It is now time to analyse what unsuspected dangers might have been lurking in this ritual.
Firstly, I think that one can safely say that many if not all of the above preparations could have passed their expiry date and it is worth noting that some items could be as old as 8-10 years old and the deterioration, though often unseen, can have consequences.
Discussing the foundation, a basis to facial makeup, contamination will result as bacteria are transferred from fingertips to product. Less vulnerable are the pump varieties emitting a lesser amount and are less tactile.
If following a routine, dry powder products are then applied, these being in a safer zone as they are less vulnerable due to their composition. But having this said, grease on the surface of a compact can harbour germs and is best scrapped off revealing a cleaner surface.
Not yet done ` mascara is now vital to accentuate the beauty of the eyes. Nothing is more vulnerable to harbouring bacteria and encouraging the growth of fungi, than the dark, moist tube housing the creamy product ! Finally, our unsuspecting lady applies lipstick, being composed mainly of wax which has a way of hardening and can lose moisture and depth of colour.
What then are the changes which are warning signs?
Firstly the colour pigments of liquid makeup can alter or separation of components can occur.
Other cream-based items such as eye shadow, blusher, lipstick and mascara may have the odour of a child’s crayon, a sure sign of being rancid. Although lip and eye pencils are of a fatty nature, the frequent sharpening cleans and refreshes the surface.
Generally speaking food consumables are rated by a “sell by date”.
However “off the shelf” applies to cosmetics, in other words when usage commences.
The following is merely a guide as to when to “toss them” and to be within the parameters of safety :
Creamy products have a life span of about 3 months, dry powders 2 years.
It goes without saying that puffs, sponges and wands should be washed frequently as these are a haven for microbes.
Finally, everyone loves a bargain but consumers should be wary of cosmetics sold at flea markets, discounts offered and purchasing on the internet as products can be stale, tampered with or watered down or even be fake versions of the original.