Many of you know that conventional products don’t come with expiry dates. We’ve always found that a little troubling since—much like food—these products go on and in our bodies by way of our skin. Given the weird things that can happen to chemicals and ingredients when they sit endlessly on a shelf, not to mention the germs and bacteria that can form over time, using really old makeup (whether it’s clean or not) is really a bad idea. But we’ve all done it.
Our internet pal Melissa Dahl is researching an article for Today.com about some of the dangers lurking in dirty, and old, cosmetics bag. So we’re crowd sourcing for her here, because we have the best readers—with the best stories! So tell us (and Melissa): Have you ever had a nasty reaction to your makeup? An eye infection? A rash? A mysterious growth, maybe?
We’re happy to report that many clean companies feature voluntary expiry dates. The industry loves to say that naturals aren’t safe because they don’t have all the nasty preservatives to keep them stable until the next millennium. To us that’s like arguing that marshmellows are better for you than tomatoes because they don’t go bad, or that this happy meal is healthier than food that rots when it’s supposed to. In other words, it’s total BS—an argument that only holds if you believe that cosmetics and food should last forever by design. We certainly don’t. What do you think?
Thanks to Melissa Dahl over at The Body Odd, one of life’s more confounding mysteries has been solved: Yep, lip balm is indeed addictive. Everyone has known someone with a serious habit (maybe it’s you!) and, as it turns out, the schoolyard rumors about ChapStick® addiction were true.
We actually covered this subject briefly in the book, but our focus was more specifically on some of the drying (and nasty) chemicals found in lip balm. The article makes mention of those too, but this explanation from Perry Romanowski, a chemist and blogger at the Beauty Brains, reveals how the product actually inhibits the lips’ natural replenishment system:
The lower layers of your skin produce fresh, new skin cells, which die and can dry out a bit by the time they reach the top layer, Romanowski explains. “When you put the lip balm on the dry skin, what that does is interfere with the signaling mechanism that signals to the lower cells to start producing more,” he says. “Using lip balm, while it makes your lips feel good initially, when it wears off your skin feels dry again and your skin doesn’t have time to replenish that.” So you apply more lip balm. And when that wears off, you apply more. And more. And more!
There you have it, just another useless product tricking our bodies into doing the wrong thing. Obviously, we think a nourishing, clean lip balm has its place—especially during extra dry or cold months. But we encourage women to resist obsessive reapplication. I personally like to moisturize my lips the same way as the rest of my face, which means that morning and night I give them a once-over with some argan oil.
How about you, were you (or are you still) a lip balm junky?
We know that’s gloss, but who can resist this image