Whether you threw a pile of money at a luxury face cream or found your holy grail serum at the drugstore, it always makes sense to get the most out of your purchase. However, with many of us spending more time at home, it feels even more responsible than ever to stretch products and make them last. Shipping times for many formulas are delayed, with others still in a permanent “sold out” status. Lest you run out of that silky balm or miracle-working eye cream, keep reading: we’re teaching you how to maximize your product’s shelf-life and ensure you get every last drip, drop, and glop from the jar or tube.
Skincare Saving Tip #1: Keep Your Products In a Cool, Dark Space
A shelfie sparkling in golden hour light might make for a beautiful Instagram® post, but your skincare products will last much longer when kept in the dark, explains Shuting Hu, PhD, award-winning cosmetic scientist with Acaderma®. This is because many active ingredients — particularly vitamin C, some sunscreens, and retinol — are light sensitive and will break down more quickly when exposed.
Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.
Plus, if you’re a perfume aficionado, it’s also worth stashing your scents somewhere other than your bathroom for the same reason. Due to baths and showers, this room wildly fluctuates in temperature, which will damage the delicate molecules in a bottle of fragrance. Overall, keeping your favorite products in a space with a temperature between 68 and 75 degrees is ideal.
Skincare Saving Tip #2: Store Items Out of the Shower When Possible
In addition to light and heat exposure, humidity can do a real number on your products. “The risk for microbial contamination is high when you place items in or near a wet place — like in your shower or bathtub,” explains Dr. Hu. Unfortunately, that includes a great deal of items that you’d want to use in the shower, such as hair masks, bath salts, and body scrubs. Many of these products come in jars, which are more likely to be easily contaminated than a squeeze bottle. (Plus, sugar scrubs can melt if they get wet!) It might be a pain, but store them on a cool, dry shelf, and bring them to the bathroom when you’re ready to use them.
Skincare Saving Tip #3: Don’t Decant Products If They’re In Pump Packaging
While it does make sense to squeeze your products into travel-sized containers if you’re on the road, you should otherwise keep them in their pump packaging. “An airtight pump container is used for products that are sensitive to light and air,” explains Dr. Hu. (Hey, that best-selling vitamin C was packed in a pump for a reason!). Airless packaging is designed specifically to not let in any air — and in the same vein, germs. “An airless pump has more components and is typically filled in a sterilized facility,” she adds. In that sense, transferring to an open-air jar or bottle of your own actually takes away from its shelf-life.
Skincare Saving Tip #4: Enlist the Help of a Jade Roller
Beyond making your products last longer in the tube, you can make them work harder — which will help you stretch every last drop. One way to do this is by changing how you apply them. “Some experts say a jade roller can boost circulation, and that it might help to work pricey treatment serums and oils deeper into the skin,” says Dianna Baros, founder of The Budget BabeTM.
If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using a gua sha or rolling tool.
Sounds crazy, but think about it: as you roll the crystal across your complexion after applying skincare, it’s literally pushing the ingredients into your face. Not convinced? “If nothing else, it's relaxing to use and feels great,” Baros offers. Using a jade roller might also cause you to take a little more time with your regimen, improving your experience and overall investment. Try Herbivore’s® Jade Facial Roller ($30) — in addition to featuring two differently-sized rollers (the tiny one is perfect for smoothing out puffy undereyes!), it’s made of jade.
Skincare Saving Tip #5: Use a Tool to Scoop Product From Jars
Most skincare products stored in jars or tubs, such as eye creams or body scrubs, will come with a small scoop. Many of us are guilty of throwing this device away, which is a mistake. Dipping fingers into a product exposes it to bacteria, which can cause the formula to go bad more quickly. In some cases, you might not even realize a product has gone bad until you develop a breakout from the bacterial infestation. Moral of the story: always use clean hands and a scoop.
Skincare Saving Tip #6: Get Yourself a Beauty Spatula
When you get down to the very last bit of your product, don’t give up yet: You’ve likely got a good 10 to 20 additional serving sizes hiding in the container’s nooks and crannies. While it wouldn’t be the worst thing to mix in water for some products (like shampoo!), there’s no need to do that with your pricier face creams. In this case, specially-designed spatulas, like Ulta® Beauty SmartsTM Makeup Spatulas ($5), are an essential tool. These feature tiny, scoop-shaped heads that get every last smear of cream out of a jar. Even better, the tips are made of silicone, which means they won’t absorb any of your precious product.
Skincare Saving Tip #7: Get a Turn Key Tool For Tubes
We can probably all agree that everyone’s got a different approach to squeezing product out of a tube. We can also probably agree that some methods are way better than others. (We’ve definitely frustratedly taken a scissor to a few products’ packaging to get to the last of the goods!) However, we’d submit that the best way to ensure every bit of product finds its way out of a tube and onto your skin is by utilizing a turn key. These handy tools slide onto the crimped end of a tube and help you roll it as tightly as possible. We like this turn key from AsaraiTM ($8), because it’s affordable, sturdy, and a cheery vibrant yellow.
More at-home skincare tips:
- Spotlyte Editors Share Their Favorite Treatments to Do In Private
- Turn Your Kitchen Into a Spa With These DIY Recipes
- If You Must DIY Your Own Bikini Wax, This Is How to Help Do It Safely
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