Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My new decluttering and anti-hoarding habit: get rid of expired goods! (tip #10)

FYI, this post isn't for the faint of heart.

I grew up thinking that food was the only thing that needed to get thrown out when it expired. Normal people also throw out cosmetics, lotions, pantry items, and medicines when they expire.

Why is this important? Because *this* is what happens when you have eczema and you put years-old hand cream on your hands.

I am never, ever keeping any cosmetics past their expiration date again. I don't care how much I spent on them.

Ask the medical librarian: Why did this happen?

Joanna the Medical Librarian says: In a nutshell, bacteria and fungi grow in cosmetics. Bacteria and fungi play a role in eczema. The chemicals in cosmetics also break down into other chemicals that aren't always great for the skin. For more info, see the FDA's page on expiration dates on cosmetics.

What caused this? Item 50, an old tub of moisturizer.

While I was at it, I found item 51, some blush samples...

From 1993. GAAAAHHHH!!!

The Reckoning

The blush samples were free. The cream probably cost about $5. The Total Money Wasted on Junk total is now $213. I am absolutely okay with tossing those five bucks in the trash.


  1. eek! That's terrible about the cosmetics. I don't have any skin conditions, but I may have to chuck out all my ancient samples to prevent any "new" reactions. This is a great kick in the pants to get it done.

  2. Pol, thanks for commenting! yes, do get rid of the old stuff so you don't end up like me! you never know what nasty chemicals these things break down into after 10 years on the shelf. Good luck cleaning out your makeup drawer!

  3. Ye gods and little fishes! I have cupboards full of creams and lotions (usually gifts or freebies) which have accumulated over the years. I am 66 and recently my skin has become very sensitive so I mainly use baby products or perfume free hypoallergenic creams and cleansers. Today is the day I toss those old things. Thanks for this eye-opening post.

  4. For moisterizer, I've found that coconut oil works really well. It would seem like it would make your skin greasy-feeling, but the opposite is actually true, and those chemically-dense commercial products are actually "more" greasy than the coconut oil. Plus, if you use the coconut oil in cooking and making other cosmetics (I use it also to make the deodorant I use), you'll find that there's no waste, because you're using it up before it expires ;).

  5. I love the smell of coconut, that could be a perfect solution. And I love that there's no waste.

    What do you think of using olive oil?


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