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There’s nothing like the fresh leaf of a new year to spur a ruthless fashion closet cleanout. But what about your beauty products? There’s a good chance that members of your makeup and skincare stash are past their expiry dates and ready to be sorted for recycling, too. Along with tossing out products past their use-by, there’s a simple test. ‘If any of your products seem discoloured, runny, lumpy, the formula has separated or developed a strange odour, or the product feels different on the skin than it once did, then it’s time to replace them with new ones,’ says the team from BEYORG.

To help make your cleanout easier, we’ve created a cheat sheet outlining when beauty products will likely go bad after they’ve been opened. In an effort to reduce waste, we’ve also compiled three easy-to-implement tips for prolonging the shelf life of your future stash.

3 Tips for Extending Your Beauty Stash’s Shelf Life

1. ‘Store your beauty products in a dry and cool place and make sure to keep them away from the sun, as UV rays can deteriorate the products. Avoid keeping them in the bathroom, as humidity causes mould to grow. Store them in your bedroom instead,’ explains the BEYORG team.

2. ‘Avoid handling products with water or other residue on your hands — it’ll contaminant the formula and affect how long the product will last,’ shares Michael from IL COLPO. The BEYORG team adds that you should use a spatula to take the cream out of an opened jar rather than your fingers.

3. The team at BEYORG reminds us to tighten caps and lids after each use to avoid products drying out — they often go bad when they’ve been exposed to too much oxygen. (That extra lid that lies on the rim of your moisturiser jar? Keep that on too – it’s an extra layer to help keep air out.)

It’s also worth keeping in mind that beauty products applied to your body can have an expiry date as well. ‘After you’ve applied polish to your nails, we suggest removing the coating after five to seven days,’ says Mandy from IL COLPO. Any longer than a week could cause the pigment to dry out and cause mould and bacterial growth.

If you’re still not sure whether your beauty products should be used or not, an app like Beauty Keeper can help you look up the lot number on your product to find out when it was made, keep track of expiry dates, and send you reminders as to when it’s time to refill products.

Now go forth and channel your inner Marie Kondo!