Practical Spaces Reference Guide: TOILETRIES

New product launches, great flyer deals, and seasonal gift sets, oh my! If you feel like you are accumulating skincare, hair care, and cosmetic products faster than you can use them, it may be time to audit your toiletry stores!

Gather it up (and Don’t Miss Anything)!

It’s likely when you think of your hair, face, and body products, you envision bathroom counters, cupboards, cabinets, and vanities. Aim to be thorough and check all areas that you keep toiletries and makeup!

Don’t forget to check:

  • Travel bags and luggage
  • Gym and sport bags
  • Purses, baby bags
  • Bedside tables, dressers
  • Powder rooms
  • Kitchen sink area
  • Linen closet
  • Showers

Be Aware of Expiration Dates

There are two types of expiration dates to be on the look out for when clearing out anywhere you store toiletry products:

  1. Products with a written expiry. Certain products contain active ingredients that will decrease in efficacy or quality over time and in these cases the manufacturer will indicate the optimal use by date. Be sure to check:
    • Products with SPF like face lotion, body lotion, tanning sprays and creams, foundations, and lip care products.
    • Products containing plant essential oils, vitamins, or other fresh ingredients.
    • Handmade products like those from Lush or from local sellers.
    • Prescriptions, and medicated over-the-counter products like anti-dandruff shampoo, acne care products, antiperspirant, and toothpaste.
  2. Products with a use by guideline based on when it was first opened. Check all products for the following symbol and date system:
The number inside the jar symbol indicates the amount of months you have to use the product up once it has been exposed to the air and hands.

It is advisable to discard any items that are past the recommended lifespan (after all, our skin is an organ of the body and is worthy of being treated caringly). Any items, regardless of date, that have separated, dried up, discoloured, or no longer smell appealing should also be discarded.

Tip: Note the date you first opened a product using a label or permanent marker directly on the container near the date guideline image. This is especially important for lesser-used treatments, seasonal products, products for around the eyes, and anything else you are not likely to use within the given time frame!

Resist Temptation

Try not to feel the need to hang on to every skincare, hair care, or cosmetic product that you have simply because it is not expired, or even if it is unopened. Consider how long you have been dedicating precious space to a particular item, and how often (if ever) you have used it in order to make an informed decision on whether you should continue to store the item.

Challenge yourself to incorporate an under-used product into your skincare or makeup routine (as directions dictate) right away. House the item among your “everyday” products as a visual reminder to get more use out of your purchase.

Feel Free

You are hereby granted permission to release any products that are not suited for your skin’s condition or complexion, or your hair type, as well as any product that you cannot easily incorporate into your routine (though please seek the advice of a medical practitioner like a doctor or pharmacist before making decisions regarding medicinal products that may affect your health).

You could consider passing along hygienically sealed and stored products to friends or family who may get good use out of them, or even donating them to charity! At the time of writing, The Mustard Seed in Edmonton has need of shaving cream, razors, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene items, soap, and travel sized shampoos and conditioner.

If you are hesitant to discard something that cannot be passed along to someone in need, it may help to remind yourself that having that item helped you to learn about products that you do not enjoy using. In fact, a regular toiletry audit can help to save you time and money in the future by keeping you in touch with what works best for you and any shopping pitfalls you may be prone to.

Find Some Helping Hands

A professional organizer can help you reign in the toiletries storage areas of your home to ensure that you have space for the skincare, hair care and cosmetic items you love and use most. Trust us when we say that for every person who cringes at the thought of having to clean out their bathroom cupboards or makeup drawers, there is a professional organizer whose dream it is to whip these areas into shape for you!

If your shower routine has you thinking “chaotic” rather than “peaceful,” “luxurious,” or even just “efficient,” and you think you might need some expert advice, check out our small area package or contact us for a free consultation.

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