From sun creams that are ineffective to old mascaras that cause pink eye: As research shows some cosmetics carry more bacteria than a TOILET SEAT, expert reveals how to spring clean your make up bag

Make up bag overflowing? More lipsticks than you can count? A stack of old sun cream from who knows when? 

Your beauty drawer is in desperate need of a spring clean.

As research reveals that bottles of hand cream found in women’s handbags carry more bacteria than the average toilet seat, FEMAIL takes a look at how to clean out your cosmetics stash this spring.

From what to keep to what to ditch, as well as the specific items in your make up bag which might be far past their use-by date, expert, Rhys Williams, provides his commentary.

He also shared how to stay on top of your beauty bag – for good.

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From what to keep to what to ditch, as well as when certain items in your make up bag are well past their sell by date, FEMAIL looks at how to clean out your cosmetics stash (stock image)

From what to keep to what to ditch, as well as when certain items in your make up bag are well past their sell by date, FEMAIL looks at how to clean out your cosmetics stash (stock image)

First things first, according to the experts, hanging on to make up for too long can leave items jam-packed with bacteria (stock image)

First things first, according to the experts, hanging on to make up for too long can leave items jam-packed with bacteria (stock image)

First things first, according to the experts, hanging on to make up for longer than you should does more than just fill up a drawer in your bathroom.

In fact, those old mascaras, eyeliners and lipsticks can be jam-packed with bacteria.

'Using out-of-date cosmetics on your skin can cause irritation and infection,' skin and beauty expert, Rhys Williams (pictured), said

‘Using out-of-date cosmetics on your skin can cause irritation and infection,’ skin and beauty expert, Rhys Williams (pictured), said

‘Using out-of-date cosmetics on your skin can cause irritation and infection,’ the skin and beauty expert and founder of make up brand, Gilded Cage, Rhys Williams, told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Air-tight packaging or pump packaging are less likely to introduce bacteria, because they have not been so exposed to light and air.’

The expert added that irritation can occur ‘and in some cases bacterial infection, particularly where formulations are delivered in jar format’.

Mr Williams recommends keeping an eye on ‘PAO (period after opening) symbols’ on your products. 

‘This identifies the use range, often between 6 and 36 months, depending on the formulation,’ he added.

'Usually, you can keep lipsticks for  12-24 months,' Mr Williams said - 'If your lipstick is gloopy and starting to drag on application, it's time to discard and replenish' (stock image)

‘Usually, you can keep lipsticks for 12-24 months,’ Mr Williams said – ‘If your lipstick is gloopy and starting to drag on application, it’s time to discard and replenish’ (stock image)

So just what you should be keeping and ditching this spring?

‘Usually, you can keep lipsticks for between 12 and 24 months – and foundations for between six and 12 months,’ Mr Williams told FEMAIL. 

‘If your lipstick is gloopy and starting to drag on application, it’s time to discard and replenish. Likewise foundation that is clumpy. 

‘As a general rule, formulations for use around the eye area will always have a shorter life span after opening,’ Mr Williams explained. 

 If your lipstick is gloopy and starting to drag on application, it’s time to discard and replenish

‘This is particularly true for mascara, which should be used within six months as the formula will deteriorate when exposed to air.

‘Take a mascara that is four months old, for instance,’ he said.

‘The formula will grip the brush without clumping on the fibres and bristles, particularly at the base allowing a smooth clump-free application. When your mascara is eleven months old, you will notice that the fibres and bristles of the brush are packed in and clumped with the formulation.

‘Even worse there’s a big black lump at the tip of the applicator that you just can’t seem to get rid of. That’s the result of months and months of our of date formulation hardening. It’s also full of bacteria from your eye across time.

‘If you had an eye infection or pink eye three months before, it is likely you will have it again when you go to reapply.’

'As a general rule, formulations for use around the eye area have a shorter life span after opening,' Mr Williams explained - mascaras are  bad for allowing bacteria in (stock image)

‘As a general rule, formulations for use around the eye area have a shorter life span after opening,’ Mr Williams explained – mascaras are bad for allowing bacteria in (stock image)

The make up guru said the rule is slightly different when it comes to fragrance, which can be ‘stored out of sunlight and used for years to come’.

However, he said that with sun creams, they will quickly ‘decrease in effectiveness’ if not thrown out and re-stocked regularly.

Ditto things like fake tans – the founder of Adore Beauty, Kate Morris, told Sunrise on Wednesday that ‘with fake tans, you’ve really only got about six months after they’re exposed to air before they get a little bit smelly’.

With sun creams, they will  'decrease in effectiveness' if not thrown out and re-stocked often - you ought to be throwing out and replenishing anything bought last year (stock image)

With sun creams, they will ‘decrease in effectiveness’ if not thrown out and re-stocked often – you ought to be throwing out and replenishing anything bought last year (stock image)

So, finally, how can you make sure you stay on top of your make up bag?

Mr Williams is a fan of separating the various parts out.

‘Separate four bags by the seasons, and put into them all the purchases you make that season,’ he said.

‘Then get a fifth bag and just keep your favourite things in there. 

‘That way, you always know where you are up to with period after opening dates to discard, and favourites have a quicker turnaround than that seasonal pop of colour or trend item.’  

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