Why portion size and expiration dates matter

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Best if used by …
Have you ever wondered if there is a shelf life for the products you use on your face every day? Whether it’s your moisturizer or your eye shadow, there are expiration time-lines, most of which are not shown on the product or its packaging. And there are legitimate reasons for adhering to life-of-product suggestions.
For example, rather than keeping your makeup in a humid bathroom, where mold, yeast and bacteria are encouraged to grow, you should move it to your bedroom or some other place where the environment is drier.
If you have gone “green,” you’ll need to replace your organic makeup products more frequently. Regular formulas are said to last about twice as long as those with only natural ingredients.
The smell test can also let you know when it’s time to toss and renew. A foul odor is a big clue. If your liquid foundation or other liquid products have “separated,” many times that’s the first sign that it’s time to buy new. Try to squirt, not dip. A pump or spray bottle is better than jars or those containers with twist-off caps because it keeps your fingers and the bacteria lurking on them from contaminating the product.


Does size really matter?

As I say about things like sugar, butter and wine when cooking, “If a little is good, a lot must be better.” However, when it comes to beauty product portions, should you use a spot, a dab, a tad, a blob or a glob? If you don’t use enough, the product just might not do its job. Using too much may cause side effects like red, dry or oily skin, greasy hair or flaky scalp.
Well, it doesn’t have to be a guessing game. For one thing, any prescription medicines from your dermatologist or other physician will come with written instructions as to how much, how often, etc., they should be used.

About your hair products

Shampoo: Quarter
Using too much shampoo can leave you with dull, dry hair, sometimes even split ends. You can use a little more or less if you hair is quite long or very short.

Conditioners: Daily, Leave-In or
Mask: Quarter
Daily Use: Coat hair strands with conditioner from about mid-length to the ends. Comb through before rinsing out for detangling and hydrating.

Leave-In: For detangling, shining hair and sealing hair cuticles, even taming static, just rub the conditioner between your hands and smooth over your hair while it is still damp. If using a liquid, spritz it on the back and on each side of your head.

Conditioning mask: A good thing to use every six to eight weeks if you color or straighten or otherwise use harsh chemicals on your hair, especially if you combine these with the use of a heat appliance. These masks treat both the hair and the scalp, so make sure you apply to both.

Hair gel: Nickel
Takes only a small amount to do some good things — defining curls or parts in your hair, helping “depouf” hair and “anchor” bangs. Mist or lightly wet your hands before putting the gel on them to help with spreading the gel. To eliminate “crunchy” hair, mix a little serum containing silicone with the gel before applying to your hair.

Mousse: Golf ball
Rub the mousse between your hands before putting it on your damp hair. For thinner, finer hair or if it is cut in layers, stick to the roots of your hair. The ingredients for producing fullness will be activated as you blow-dry your hair.

Wax: Pea
Just a little dab of styling wax will do ya. Warm it up before applying by rubbing it between your hands to get that “piece-y” look. Too much product equals shampoo now.

Shine serum: Pea
A couple of pea-sized drops of this serum on your wet hair will help tame those frizzies and “fly-aways” so your hair can shine more. Again, too much will give you an unpleasant greasy look.

In addition to product use-by dates and portion sizes, please remember the best beauty tip of all: An annual skin examination by your dermatologist. After all, it is sunny San Antonio.

by Anne Moore