Keeping track of when to toss makeup isn't always easy. I asked my friend Jane McKay, senior artist at M.A.C</b>
for a guide for this ELLE Canada reader. She says:
"Most cosmetic products contain ingredients that help preserve the product against contamination. But, this doesn't mean you shouldn't regularly discard and replace certain products and 'start fresh.'
"Mascaras are best replaced every month or so. They get used every day and are close to the eye, so it is always better to play safe.
"Other product formulas are more or less safe for long-term use depending on the frequency of use and the ingredients. For example, most bacteria and mold need a warm, moist environment in order to thrive and multiply. If you always use your powder eye shadow dry, it will not be a favourite environment for bacteria to set up residence. Even lipsticks, which are mostly emollient-based, don't appeal to the majority of bacteria. They like water, and there is very little present in most lip formulas. So, think
about replacing your mascara on a monthly basis if possible, and your lipgloss products about every three months."