Here's how to prevent mould from growing in your liquid and cream beauty products
Do you know what isn't fun? Finding mould on your cream blush. Do you know what else isn't fun? Being forced to throw away said cream blush when you've only just bought it.
Everyone loves a good cream consistency, be it in your skincare or your makeup. It feels luxurious, it melts into the skin beautifully, and (if it's pigmented) it blends better than anything else you'll find on the market. The only problem? It's a breeding ground for microorganisms.
Fret not, however—though you may have to say goodbye to some of your firm favourites for now, we've got a nifty guide to ensure you'll never have to prematurely part with your dear products before their time ever again.
Ahead, find our tried-and-tested methods for keeping mould away from our beloved beauty buys.
What causes mould in cream products?
There are three conditions that your pesky neighbourhood mould needs to grow: Warmth, moisture, and food. In humid Malaysia, that's pretty much guaranteed.
Generally, most beauty products contain assorted preservatives to prevent the growth of microrganisms like bacteria, yeast, and mould. However, like all things, this system isn't perfect. That means that, if you're not careful, your super-luxe creams and potions are all at risk of developing the big green (that's mould).
That begs the question: How can you tell?
Mould isn't always obvious, but if you've noticed a big change in the texture, smell, or colour of your skincare or makeup products, the chances are that you've got yourself a little science experiment going. Sorry, honey—it's time to get rid of it.
That expiration date isn't a suggestion, either. We know, we know—that product was expensive and money does not grow on trees. However, keeping products past their expiration date is a surefire way to ensure that your beloved formulations become a petri dish for microscopic nasties (eek!).
Why is a little mould such a big deal?
For starters, mould can pose many health risks, especially in products that go on your face (and eyes!). Though people with normal immune systems and minimal allergies may be okay, it has the potential to cause infections in those with compromised immunity. Further, aside from the rashes hives, inflammation, and itching that may occur with an allergic reaction, mould can trigger acne breakouts.
Health risks aside, mouldy products simply don't function the way they are supposed to. As we mentioned, mould can change the texture, smell, and colour of your favourite products, and these changes are always detrimental to the product experience.
Save yourself the trouble (and the skin texture) and stay on the safe side. If in doubt, chuck it out!
What can I do to avoid it?
Aside from ditching any expired products, here are a few steps you can take to save your beauty stash from the perils of biology:
No fingers in any pots
You've heard of the phrase "fingers in every pie", right? This doesn't apply here. Scooping product out of your moisturiser pots or swatching makeup with grubby fingers is a huge no-no in basic beauty hygiene. It's 2021: Scoop and apply products with a spatula or brush, and make sure you give said utensil a wash before and after every use.
If you absolutely must use your fingers, make sure you're giving them a thorough scrub beforehand. That means washing for a minimum of 20 seconds, clearing all the gunk from under your nail, and thoroughly tackling each individual finger. It's time: The pandemic has been prepping you for this moment. Do us proud.
Wash your brushes and sponges
Speaking of beauty hygiene—wash your tools! Your brushes and sponges are the ideal home for fungal spores to settle, so you need to make sure that you're keeping conditions absolutely uninhabitable.
That means washing your grubby makeup tools at least every week and drying them as quickly as you can. Want our foolproof guide to cleaning? Look no further.
Close the lids on your beauty products tightly
Remember those terrible three pro-mould conditions we talked about? Moisture is one you can definitely tackle: Just shut the lids on your products tightly to keep moisture out. It's a simple step that will make all the difference in staving away any fungal foes.
Get a skincare mini-fridge
'Room temperature' in Malaysia is not a cute 20ºC. On top of that, when beauty brands say "store in a cool, dry place", they certainly do not have our tropical climate in mind. Storing your skincare and makeup in a beauty mini-fridge (or just your regular fridge!) is a foolproof way to keep conditions perfect. Plus, your skincare routine is going to feel that much more soothing when chilled.
Find more beauty tips and tricks here.