Spring Clean Your Skincare the Nerdie Way

I don’t want to say that spring clean-season is my favourite of the year, but if you know me, you’ll know that I certainly don’t shy away from a serious clean. Spending the majority of our time in the house means we’re viewing it with fresh eyes, and if you’ve got as much of it as I do, spring cleaning the house extends to spring cleaning my skincare stash.

You may find that you have a whole lot of skincare that is lying in boxes and bags around the house (guilty) - or maybe you’re a serial product-opener, and you’ve got dribs and drabs of product left with a dozen products open and waiting for you to finally use them up. 

This is the perfect chance for you to spring clean your vanity table or skincare shelf. I can promise you that you’ll feel better afterwards. I have a few nerdie tips for how you can get the most out of your skincare spring-cleaning experience.

How To Spring Clean Your Skincare

Step 1: If It’s Expired, Retire It

If you leap-frog from one holy grail product to another, then there’s a definite chance that you’ve got a lot of half-used products hanging around. This is probably the point at which you should take a peep at your products to make sure they haven’t expired while you were looking the other way.

Do Expiry Dates Matter?

Once you open a product, the exposure to oxygen causes this product to begin degrading. The potency of the active ingredients (the stuff that you’re spending your hard-earned bucks on) will weaken over time, meaning that they are, in fact, best to use before the expiry date, to ensure you’re getting the most out of your product. 

You can tell the expiration date by checking the bottom of the product for the icon that looks like an open pot of product with 12M or 6M perhaps, which will tell you how many months the product is usable for. 

When it comes to something like your SPF, however, this date is of supreme importance. It’s bad news to be heading out into the world thinking that you’re protected from UVA and UVB rays and light if your SPF is doing nothing to help you out. 

Products like Environ Skin EssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser 1 and Environ Focus Care Colostrum Gel have a shorter shelf life due to the active ingredients within them, and must be used within the time frame recommended, otherwise they will be ineffective - not ideal!

Step 2: Storing Your Skincare In Plain Sight

The problem with skincare and beauty is that very often we’re doing our best to keep the places where we might be applying our products neat and tidy - like our bedrooms and bathrooms! 

This means keeping our bits in boxes and drawers, until it gets to the stage where you have a rainbow tangle of products at the end of your box to dig through. No, thanks. 

If you have the space, lining your everyday up on a shelf might be handier - while you’re reorganising, anyway. 

We do the same thing in Nerd HQ! Storing products out in the open reminds us of exactly what we have on hand, and might give you some ideas on what needs to be used next, when you finish with one product! 

At a glance in the office you’ll see a lot of YonKa Spritz - Lotion PS’s lined up on desks, more than a few Solgar Supplements for lunch-time-taking, and even Avene Cold Cream Concentrated Hand Cream, too ...

That being said, it’s always best to store your skincare and makeup products out of direct sunlight, which might have a bearing on just where you decide to erect this monument to skincare. That’s the reason that IMAGE Vital C Hydrating Antioxidant A C E Serum is in a brown bottle - to stop the sunlight leaking in and reducing the efficacy of the product!

It’s also a good idea to keep your skincare out of the bathroom too - it’s just not the most hygienic spot for it.

Step 3: Streamline Your Products

Part of the reason that we can end up with so many products is that we choose products that don’t provide the results that we seek for our skin. If you’re organising one product for your cheeks and a different one one for your T-zone, as well as one for nights out and another for day-to-day, the likelihood is that you’re going to end up with a lot of products that you don’t get to the end of. 

It can be a good idea in these cases to steel yourself and use a product all the way through to the end - and when you’re finished and you’ve tossed it, to seek an alternative which won’t mean buying five products to do the one job.

Step 4: Create a Product Inventory

If you’re the kind of hooman who loves a good list above everything else (relatable), then this one might be for you. 

You could use an app like Evernote, or something similar to create an inventory of your beauty items, to make sure you’re not overlooking any of them. 

With this app, you can take a picture of the product and the expiry date, so you’re never in any doubt that the products you’re using are still usable. 

Step 5: Get Creative

At the moment, we’re all trying to be creative with our products. If your facial moisturiser just didn’t cut the mustard, then maybe it could have a new life as a hand cream or body moisturiser?

Or you could repurpose your chemical exfoliant (your salicylic acid or glycolic acid based cleanser) and use it to exfoliate something else - like your feet! It might seem extra, but hey - if it works, it works! Sally Cleanse isn’t fussy, we promise...

Got a facial oil that you weren’t keen on? Use it as your nail and hair oil. 

Use the cleanser you didn’t love as your shower gel (but do be careful of *ahem* delicate areas that are best left unexfoliated).  

Balms, creams and oils you don’t rate? It’s your new shaving product so long as it is exfoliating acid free.  

Serum you don’t love  due to texture? Layer it on thick and use it as a treatment masque. 

If you’re keen to do a simple clear-out, then we suggest that you do a Marie Kondo on it. Does it spark joy? If yes, add it back to the pile, with renewed promises that this time, you’ll use it fully. 

If not - then bye, bye, baby. It’s destined for a friend (or a foe depending on why you didn’t like it).

When it comes to deciding how to shop your skincare stash, we have to be sensible about these things. Don’t use it if it’s out of date, but beyond that - get a bit creative with it! Also we can guarantee that when you go through all of your skincare products, you’ll find some hidden gems that you’ve totally forgotten about, and it’ll be a real life-giving moment!

Want advice on a streamlined skincare routine that’ll work for you? Join the Nerd Network.