* It's likely that you already know how to check for this, but just in case you don't I decided to write this post because I didn't know, so I figured there must be other people who don't too!
When I was sorting through some old makeup recently I realised that I had quite a few lip-glosses and lipsticks that I'd had for years, but they still had plenty of product in them. Were they ok to use? I knew there was a way of telling when your makeup expires, but I think I was looking for an actual expiry date printed on the back like with food! I embarked on a little research, well, just a google search actually and I am happy to say I finally know!
We've all used makeup that is old and has definitely 'gone off,' for a lot of us the first makeup we ever used was our mother's old eyeshadow that we kept for about 10 years! Don't get me wrong, your 10 year old eyeshadow isn't going to kill you, but makeup will harbour bacteria over time and it won't perform as well as it is intended too. So, If you think about it we should really take more notice of when our makeup is passed it's best. For example, lipgloss and liquid lipsticks are applied to our mouth using the applicator and then the wand is put back into the bottle. After time your products are bound to have a lot of bacteria growing inside them. Yuck!
We all know to replace our mascara after a few months, but how long should we use our foundation or face powder before replacing that? This is where the PAO symbol comes in useful, the PAO symbol which stands for Period-after-opening tells you the recommended time you should use your makeup by after you first open it. The symbol is usually on the back of the packaging and is pictured as an open cosmetics pot with a number inside followed by an 'M', so, if it is recommended that you use your foundation within 12 months after you've first opened it, it will appear as 12M inside the open pot symbol. If you didn't already know this then once you realise what this symbol means you won't believe that you didn't before!
I've included some photos I took of the PAO symbol on the back of two makeup products I own. I've tried to blur out the rest of the writing so it's just the symbol in focus:
If you use a diary or have a calendar it might be worth making a note of when you open a new product and write down when you need to replace it. For example, I just bought a few new foundations to test out and review, so I am going to write down in my 2018 diary when they need replacing. Would I use them after this date? Yes, probably for a few months, if there was a lot of product left. But I now know makeup doesn't last forever and shouldn't be kept for years!
Do/Will you take any notice of the PAO symbol?
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