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Spring has sprung and it is time to purge all that has accumulated over the winter months. The Certified Fabulous team knows the importance of spring cleaning your home, but let us not forget to cleanup cosmetic products as well. We all have a basket of skin, body and hair care products in our bathrooms, or a makeup bag full of cosmetics. Unopened, well-formulated products can remain stable for a couple of years, if stored at room temperature. However, heat and humidity promote the growth of mold and bacteria, and since most of us store our cosmetics in the most convenient place in the house, the bathroom, even unopened products can be at risk for contamination. Once a product has been open and exposed to the air, the clock starts ticking.

Cosmetic products DO go bad. At best, they stop performing the way they used to, could evaporate, or the feel of the product may change. Do you know when to purge your makeup and skincare products?? The Cert FAB team is here to help. We will explain the when and why you should toss your cosmetic products.

Most cosmetic products will have either a PAO symbol or an expiration date denoted somewhere on the packaging. "PAO" stands for "period after opening" and is symbolized like this: PAO

The PAO symbol will also have a number followed by an "M" (M for month). The number indicates the number of months the product is guaranteed to be stable, after the product is open. For example, if you see a PAO symbol with 12M stamped on it, the company is telling you the product is good to use for 12 months after opening. This number is determined by testing performed on the preservatives used in the formula which keep the product from growing mold and bacteria.

The expiration date is simply a date printed somewhere on the cosmetic's packaging (usually on the bottom) which indicates when the product is due to expire. In some instances, a product may have a problem well before its PAO or expiration date. Cosmetic packaging that is warped, expanded or shows signs of deterioration is a definite sign that something is wrong with the formula and should be tossed. If it smells funny, or the texture of the formula has changed significantly, definitely toss it out as well.

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