Style The skincare mistake that 70% of us are making – and yes, it's something so simple
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So you’ve mastered the art of, got to grips with some of the most complicated sounding ingredients (it’s pronounced ‘aze-lay-ic acid’) and navigated the world of . But while you might have your topical skincare routine down to a tee, you may well be missing a (very important) trick – starting with the #Skinshelfie in your bathroom.
Indeed, a recent study carried out by online skincare retailer,, found that the 70% of us are storing our products in the wrong place– which is, surprise to many, in your bathroom.
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'I’m sure people would be shocked to learn that the bathroom is actually one of the worst spots to keep your skincare and can cut the shelf life of your products down by as much as half,' says Kimberley Hulme, Head of Clinic at Face the Future.
So what happens to products when stored incorrectly?
You might have heard that your perfume bottles are susceptible to changes in temperature and sunlight so you diligently pop them in the drawer to keep them smelling sweet, well, the same rule applies to your skincare.
The short of it is that your humid bathroom–which heats up further when you shower–is the worst spot to keep your serums, exfoliators, cleansers, toners and all the rest.
Not only do you risk changing the formula, but the change in temperature could well damage the active ingredients in your skincare bottles rendering them ineffective and accelerating their expiry date. 'The rapid heating and cooling that takes place can fundamentally change the texture of a product and make it more watery – ultimately diluting its effectiveness.’ Hulme adds.
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‘For temperamental products such as, choosing to store them in the bathroom can result in products becoming ineffective in as little as 4 weeks and turning a dark orange colour. Even products such as scrubs and cleansers, that are specifically designed to be used in the bathroom, are susceptible to problems if not stored correctly.’
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Worse yet, is the sanitary risk, says consultant dermatologist, Dr. 'Not only is there a risk of cross-contamination from faecal bacteria by storing products [in the bathroom] but heat and steam from the shower may also produce an environment where microbes can thrive.'
While she cites beauty blenders as some of the main offenders for holding bacteria, your make-up and skincare hygiene as a whole is paramount. 'Hygiene practices around our make-up products are hugely important to prevent the risk of eye and skin infection. We don’t want faecal bacteria breeding on our products!,' she adds.
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How long does skincare usually last?
The beauty industry standard is usually a 30-month shelf life (when unopened) and should come with a best before date on the packaging. 'Products with a shorter shelf-life, such as natural products with no preservatives, carry a 6M or 12M logo,' says Hulmes, so it's always important to look out for these symbols and keep them in mind when purchasing products.
And if a product starts to look or smell different? Then this is a tell-tale sign that it's time to get rid of it.
Where exactly should you be storing skincare?
First and foremost, you’d be prudent to move your skincare to a drawer or cupboard, away from natural light – however annoying it might be to retrieve them on the daily.
‘I would encourage anyone who keeps their skincare out on display to consider moving their products to a dark, cool spot in their home,' agrees Kulmes. 'In the same way changes in temperature can have an impact on effectiveness, exposure to light can destabilise skincare products making them completely ineffective.’ And particularly, for dark glass containers, which can react badly when exposed to sunlight.
The ideal temperature to store your skincare at is between 15 and 25 degrees celsius, she continues, so avoid any warmer rooms and don't put your skincare in the fridge, given that the cooler temperature is outside of the recommended range and could potentially interfere with the efficacy of the ingredients.
Finally, if you are adamant on keeping any products in the bathroom, ensure that they are always completely sealed to help prevent the build up of bacteria.
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