Wetherby, England

The Beauty Clear Out: What to Keep, Bin and Clean

June 30, 2020

Are you currently stuck in a beauty rut?

If so, I don’t blame you. I mean, we’re all guilty of acquiring unnecessary amounts of makeup, skincare and toiletry products and hoarding them for months.

That said, there’s no better time of year than spring to do a bit of “spring cleaning.”

Following on from my wardrobe clear out tips, read on to find out how you can have a beauty reshuffle to organise your overflowing collection, keep individual items clean and ultimately maximise your storage space.

The Beauty Clear Out

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Put Some Time Aside

First things first, organising anything in your home always takes longer than you think.

Therefore, instead of trying to cram in a beauty clear out after lunch before you pick your kids up from school or right before you’re supposed to be heading out to your weekly workout class, put some time aside to tackle it.

And commit to doing it all in one go, while you’re in the zone, if you really want to boost your productivity.

Get Everything Out 

Once you’re ready to get stuck into your beauty clear out, start with one specific section (such as your bathroom cupboard or makeup holder) and get everything out.

How come, you ask? Well, this will allow you to assess each and every item and give it the attention it deserves when you’re deciding what to keep, donate or get rid of.

It will also allow you to clean each section with ease (but more on this later!).

Beauty Clear Out

Go Through Your Collection Item By Item

Next, as you’re going through every item, check the expiry date

Skincare products usually showcase this on the bottom of their containers or on their lids. Then your makeup products should have a Petri dish symbol on their labels, which tells you how long the item will last once it’s been opened before it expires (e.g. six months or 24 months).

Has a particular item in question already expired? Automatically toss it.

After all, old beauty products lose their effectiveness the longer you use them past their expiry date. And they can even cause irritation or infections. 

(I know, not cool.)

Decide What to Keep

Once you’ve eliminated the products past their expiry date, decide what else you’d like to keep, donate or get rid of by asking yourself the following questions:

For those items you’d like to donate, you can see whether a friend, family member or work colleague might want to take them off your hands. If not, you could always send them to a shelter (if they’re packaged).

Alternatively, if an item is brand new and unopened, you can sell it on a third-party marketplace like eBay.

Needless to say, try to only throw items away as a last resort to avoid them sitting in a landfill, which isn’t exactly environmentally-friendly!

Clean, Clean, Clean!

After you’ve analysed every product in your collection, the next step of a beauty clear out is to clean everything you’re keeping.

But first things first, grab your best feather duster, anti-bacterial wipes and rubber gloves — and get scrubbing those cupboards/units/cases/holders (delete as applicable).

And don’t stop until they sparkle!

Cleaning Your Skincare and Toiletry Products

Once you’ve cleaned your storage spaces, start going through your skincare and toiletry collection and wiping down each item to eliminate bacteria.

You should also remove excess product from their caps to avoid your favourite creams being blocked, no matter how hard you try to squeeze the bottles. (Sigh.)

To do this, soften the excess product around each bottle cap with hot water. Then simply use tweezers to pull out the blockage. Sorted!

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

It’s amazing how much bacteria dirty makeup brushes and sponges can collect and then transfer to our skin every time that we use them. (Ew!)

That’s why you should try to clean them every two to three weeks.

You can just soak them in warm soapy water and leave them to dry. However, I find that using a designated brush cleaner does the job even better!

The following three have the best reviews:

And once all your cleaning is done, boy, does this feel good. Right?

Organise Your Collection

Lastly, put your “keep” products back where they belong.

And if you’ve done this beauty clear out right, you should have more storage space to work with.

Having said that, you might want to move things around or dispose of a holder that may be caked in makeup and impossible to clean, for instance.

Personally, I keep my skincare and toiletry products in my bathroom cupboard. Then I use the below translucent organisers for my makeup, which allow me to see which products I have to play with and are super easy to clean.

Either way, it’s completely up to you!

Beauty Clear Out Tips

Putting These Beauty Clear Out Tips Into Practise

Even though the idea of having a beauty clear out may feel overwhelming at first if you have a large collection, it’s worth doing every six months or so.

After all, it prevents your skincare, makeup and toiletry products from spiralling out of control, ensures you’re only using items that are in date and keeps everything feeling and looking tidy.

In short: the benefits are endless!

When was the last time you had a beauty clear out? Are you due one? If so, I hope my tips are helpful!

Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded The Trendy Tourist. In the last three years, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.

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