In The New York Times: When To Throw Out Mascara, Makeup In The New York Times: When To Throw Out Mascara, Makeup

Photo Courtesy of Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Did you see? was featured in the October 25th, 2012 issue of The New York Times (on page E3) with the site’s very own founder and cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson providing some helpful quotes to the piece. The article was entitled “Even Beauty Items Face the Aging Process” — debating with skincare professionals over the issue of whether or not skincare items should have an expiration date marked on their label; how the skincare industry markets the separation of ingredients and how they are packaged.

Ron Robinson explained the fact that some ingredients (like plant extracts, antioxidants, retinol, glycolic acids and vitamin C) can be vulnerable to heat and sunlight, affecting the potency and effectiveness of certain skincare products; mentioning that packaging is also important: eye cream, for example, tends to have a high bacterial growth rate because it tends to come in jars.

In regards to companies using active ingredients sold together but in separate compartments Ron had this to say:

“Air and bacteria begin to break down the purity and efficacy of ingredients once the product has been used,” Mr. Robinson said. “Sterile packaging and new one-way pumps that block air from coming into the product extend the life.”

But Mr. Robinson also said this was clever marketing “It’s more of a visual cue,” he said. “The consumer take-away is, ‘two products in one, it must be delivering two benefits.’ ”

Ron Robinson closed the article with these quotes:

Regardless of whether your products bear expiration dates, he said, extending the life of these products is as easy as storing them in a cool place rather than in your bathroom, which tends to be hot, humid and wet. Using an applicator or cotton swab instead of your finger will decrease bacteria. And adding water only invites germs.

As with any relationship, you need to know when to say goodbye.

Mr. Robinson said, “A product that’s separating, has changed in color or smells differently are signs they’re ready for the trash.”

An online version of this article can be found on The New York Times‘ website:

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