How to Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine

With spring now here, you’re probably ready to clear out the clutter and start the season on a lighter note. But what’s often

overlooked is a plan to spring clean your skin care routine. It’s easy to let beauty routines run on autopilot, using the same products every day regardless of whether they still serve you (or even whether they’re still good). Spring cleaning is the perfect time to reset and ensure the products you apply to your skin truly make you look and feel your best.

Why You Should Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine

It’s easy to fall into a rut with products that aren’t ideal for your skin simply because they are familiar. Spring cleaning gives you an excellent opportunity to evaluate your current regimen and swap out products that aren’t working for you.

But that’s not the only reason you should spring clean your skin care routine…

On a more practical level, no matter how well you take care of them, beauty products don’t last forever. Even the best skincare products lose efficacy as their active ingredients break down, meaning old products probably aren’t doing you any good. Worse, cosmetics inevitably become contaminated with bacteria over time, which can cause irritation, breakouts, and even infections. When you spring clean your beauty products, you minimize these risks and keep your skin healthy.

5 Practical Tips to Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine

Spring cleaning your makeup bag and skincare shelf might feel a little overwhelming, especially if it’s been a while since you threw anything away. But don’t worry—these simple guidelines will make light work of even the most cluttered collection. 

1) Start with an Inventory

Close-up of woman neatly organizing different types of cosmetics in a drawer.

The first step to spring clean your beauty routine is to figure out exactly what you already have. Pull out all your beauty supplies and group them by category. If you have a more extensive collection, you might want to separate the products you regularly use from your deeper cuts. That way, you can deal with the essentials first.

After sorting, make your initial observations. Maybe you have a pile of lipstick you’ve never used, or your only foundation brush is looking a little worse for wear. This should give you a better idea of where to focus your attention.

Make Some Quick Cuts

The rest of the process will be easier if you can get rid of obvious duds while you’re still sorting. This includes the following:

  • Dry or damaged makeup
  • Empty or practically empty containers
  • Products that you’ve barely touched or never even opened

Keep track of anything that needs to be replaced, but recycle the actual containers now to reduce clutter.

2) Review Expiration Dates (But Don’t Rely on Them Exclusively)

After the first pass, it’s time to inspect products more closely. For skincare products, this means checking expiration dates. If the active ingredient has expired, the product is no longer doing you any good, and it’s time for a replacement. This is especially critical for SPF-containing products. Don’t risk skin cancer just so that you can hang onto your moisturizer a little longer!

Of course, not all products have expiration dates, but that doesn’t mean they don’t go bad. Look out for color, odor, or texture changes, which are red flags that the product has expired. Pay special attention to products that come in an open container, products you apply to your eyes or lips, and products you touch with your fingers. These are especially prone to bacterial buildup and should be replaced more frequently. 

For makeup, it’s best to think in terms of timeframes rather than adhering to specific expiration dates. Powders last the longest and can keep for two years, especially if you are careful to use clean brushes or disposable applicators. At the other end of the spectrum are eyeliners and mascaras, which you should replace every 2-4 months to prevent infection.

3) Clean or Replace Tools

If you have a lot of products to sort through, it can be easy to overlook your tools when you spring clean your skin care routine. Don’t. Brushes and sponges are major sources of bacteria, so it’s important to keep them sanitary. As a bonus, clean tools typically offer a more even application. 

First, decide which tools you’re keeping. Consider the following guidelines:

  • While good makeup brushes can last for years, they eventually need to be replaced. For instance, if the bristles are shedding or misshapen, you’ll get better results from a new one.
  • No matter how they look, sponges should be replaced every few months to ensure hygienic and effective applications.
  • Eyelash curlers are often overlooked, but they shouldn’t be. Their rubber pads can wear down in as little as three months, especially if you use them every day. Besides being less effective, dry rubber can actually damage your lashes, so you should consider replacing your eyelash curler as soon as you notice texture or performance changes.

You can then deep clean whatever you’re keeping—especially if you’ve been a little lax about washing your tools. For brushes, simply rinse the bristles with warm water and mild soap, face wash, or brush cleaner, then leave them to dry with the bristles facing down. Sponges can be cleaned similarly by massaging them with a cleanser, while eyelash curlers simply need to be wiped off.

4) Reevaluate and Restock

Hopefully, you’ve been keeping a list of what you threw away. Once you’ve cleared up the clutter, it’s time to start replacing things. But before you start shopping, take a moment to reflect on your routine.

Streamlining skin care is not only better for your shelves but also better for your skin. Using a laundry list of serums can compromise your skin barrier, causing breakouts and irritation. Instead, consider cutting down to the basics: a high-quality cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF, along with one or two individualized treatments. Just remember to introduce new active ingredients slowly. 

Spring is also a great time to switch from heavy formulations to lighter ones and incorporate an exfoliant if you aren’t already using one. These steps can help prevent breakouts when you start sweating in the summer heat.

5) Make a Maintenance Plan

Finally, do your future self a favor and make a plan for keeping your collection organized. This might include…

  • Labeling containers with the date you open them
  • Using applicators instead of your fingers to prevent contamination
  • Replacing high-risk products every few months (especially mascara and eyeliner)
  • Cleaning brushes and sponges regularly

These steps will make your job easier come next spring. 

Freshen Up in Time for Spring

It’s well worth it to spring clean your skin care routine this season. In doing so, you can make sure you’re only using products that truly benefit your skin. If you find yourself in need of replacement products, stop by Ethos MedSpa. In addition to high-quality skincare products from brands such as iS CLINICAL, Skinceuticals, and Aveda, we also offer cosmetics from Jane Iredale (The Skincare Makeup), which are designed to keep your skin healthy. Visit Ethos MedSpa today to browse our product selection in person!

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