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Apr 14, 2020

How To Spring Detox Your Bathroom Shelf


Spring is getting closer and it is time for a fresh start. Maybe you have already gone through and cleared your closet, but when was the last time you gave your bathroom shelf the same attention?

Most creams and beauty products have an expiration date and when you really start looking, you usually will find some products that have been around for over a year. Truth be told – when did you really buy that serum, day cream or mascara hiding in the back?

Here is a simple guide to the different symbols on the back of your beauty products, and how the symbols can help you sort and recycle your old products.

What the symbol means:


Open jar. The open jar symbol shows how long a product stays fresh starting from the day you opened it. Most common is 6 months (6M) or 12 months (12M). If the product has been open for longer, there is a risk it may have oxidized and turned bad. Some makeup products like mascara you should change even more often (every 3rd month) while others like powder-based eye shadow will last you much longer.


Recyclable. This symbol specifies that the packaging is made of recyclable material. Don’t forget to separate the lid from the tube if they are made out of different materials, like e.g. rigid plastics and flexible plastics.


Flammable. This symbol indicates that the product is flammable and should not be exposed to high temperatures, and that it should be brought into a recycling station when empty. Do not throw away in the normal trash or empty in the sink since it may be hazardous for the environment. The symbol is common on beauty products such as nail polish, hair spray, perfumes and nail polish removers.


  • Generally, creams in tubes stay fresh for longer than creams in jars since they are less exposed to air and bacteria as you don’t stick your fingers into the product in the same way.

  • Products that are exposed to sunlight or heat can go bad faster than products that are stored in a cooler and darker place.

  • Pay extra attention to your sunscreens as they are often exposed to both heat and sunlight. An easy-to-follow guideline is to simply update your products every new season.