Time To Clean Out Your Skincare Shelf! (Spring Cleaning Pt. 1)

By Susie 

  • Decluttering skincare and makeup products should be an integral part of your annual spring cleaning 
  • First, check for expiration dates, then group into categories for closer examination 
  • Clearing space in your bathroom will also help clear space in your mind for a productive spring to come! 

My friends come to my house and usually note with admiration how clean and organized my space looks for someone with two young kids. I don’t like clutter, it makes me twitch. In addition to regular cleaning days, I will declutter and organize throughout the day. I walk through a room, pick up 1-2 items we don’t need and toss out effortlessly.

My two-year-old son has had to be the fall guy many times when my daughter asked why her masterpiece artwork was in the trash. I’ve in haste thrown away a fallen tooth, before the tooth fairy came, because I thought it was a piece of cauliflower.  I ended up having to carve a fake tooth out of cauliflower when my daughter later frantically looked for it to leave the for the tooth fairy (don’t worry, she still got paid!) 

But I had a deep dark secret... when it came to skincare and makeup products, I was a hoarder. I loved the way new makeup felt, like I was getting a fun new outfit.  Same with skincare. I was a sucker for marketing. Every product offered something I thought I needed. More hydration? More exfoliation? Yes, please!  My bathroom was busting at the seams.  

Only after I adopted a consistent skincare practice, was I able to stop the accumulation.  As my skin drastically improved with regular practice, I started getting compliments on my skin which gave me the extra confidence to start wearing less makeup.  I had fewer problems to fix or cover up, and this helped me let go of my unhealthy attachment for more and more material goods.  

Now my bathroom cabinets are much more under control and I audit and tidy its contents periodically.  I highly recommend you examine your collection at least every few months – in particular, spring cleaning skincare and makeup possessions is a fabulous annual ritual I look forward to.  It can be a stepping stone in turning your bathroom into a skincare sanctuary too! 

At first, I had accumulated so much stuff that I felt overwhelmed and paralyzed.  I struggled on where to even start and what to do with it all. I wanted to pare down but also didn’t want to be wasteful.  It was a journey, but now I’ve mastered the craft and have some helpful tips to share with you.  

The first thing is to check for expiration dates. That will take the emotion out of the process.  Anything older than two years should generally go – unless it’s pressed powder or eye shadow which can last for up to three years. If you can’t remember when you bought it, I would say it’s safe to assume it’s old enough to toss. Bacteria can build up on stale products - no need to put a mascara full of bacteria right next to your eye, right?  

Next, I like to group everything into like categories. Face lotion, lipstick, hand cream, etc. It’s a great way to see your entire assortment and throw out any duplication. Toss the one you’ll reach for the least if you have too many in one category. This can also help keep you more organized going forward.  

I also ask myself when was the last time I used the product. If the answer is someone could’ve taken it and I wouldn’t have noticed, then chances are you really don’t need it.  For the products you can’t let go of just yet, put them in the front of your drawer and give yourself a month to use it. If you reach for it before then, maybe keep it but chances are you don’t need it.  

There is nothing peaceful or inviting about a bathroom shelf or makeup bag full of clutter. Give these spring cleaning tips a try and see what changes.  I’m guessing it will not only clear space in your bathroom, but also in your mind for a liberating and productive spring to come.