The best ways to stash your makeup and skincare.

By Hana Hong
April 29, 2020
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Having too many beauty products is both a blessing and a curse. As a beauty editor, I receive a lot of beauty products to try out. But while the beauty lover in me loves experimenting with new goodies, the OCD in me stresses out at the clutter they cause. No matter how much time, money, and energy you put into your beauty products, all of your efforts are wasted if you don’t store your products correctly—and even though those Instagram #shelfie shots might look aesthetic, they’re not always the most effective. Like food, your favorite beauty products do expire, and improper makeup storage can cause the formulas to oxidize and break down quicker. In order to extend the shelf life of your beauty products, it’s important to know the right (and wrong!) ways to store them. Here are some of the most common makeup storage mistakes you might be making—and how to fix them.

1
You're storing your fragrances in direct sunlight.

Yes, your perfume bottles look pretty against the sunlight, but you don’t want to store your beauty products in the sun for extended periods of time. Sunlight can cause the chemical bonds in your fragrances to break down. A lot of heat can also warp or melt plastic bottles, so it’s best to keep your products in a cool place to keep them at their prime.

2
You're storing your vitamin C products in direct sunlight.

Same goes for your vitamin C skincare: Vitamin C typically comes in two categories—water-based and anhydrous (without water). The former is more unstable and light sensitive, while the latter is more stable. Since vitamin C is prone to breaking down when it’s exposed to light, heat, or oxygen, make sure your vitamin C is kept airtight in a cool, dark space. To check if it’s still stable, gauge the color. If the color becomes dark or cloudy it has already oxidized.

3
You're leaving skincare products in the bathroom.

While the perfect #shelfie usually takes place behind the bathroom mirror, heat and humidity from the shower can cause the active ingredients in skincare products to break down faster. You also run the risk of creating the perfect breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria to grow, especially if your products aren’t completely sealed. As a rule of thumb, the best option is to store them away in a dry drawer or cupboard that’s immune to sunlight and fluctuating temperatures.

4
You’re stacking your palettes on top of each other.

Whenever my palettes are stacked on top of each other, I end up reusing the ones on the top over and over again, mostly because I can’t actually visualize what else I have. Try storing your palettes standing up and facing you; that way, you can see everything you have at once. Plastic palette organizers, like the Container Store Luxe Acrylic 7-Section Divided Palette Insert ($8; containerstore.com), can help with that. 

5
You’re stashing your products in drawers without dividers.

If you’re stashing your excess products in drawers, keep them tidy by using drawer dividers, like the Container Store Custom Drawer Organizer Strips ($13; containerstore.com). This will allow you to separate your products by category and file them away into neat sections.

6
You’re leaving your makeup brushes together or lying down.

Placing used makeup tools together allows bacteria and product residue to spread. Keep a separate compartment for your tools and ensure that brushes are stored with the bristles facing up so that they don’t get bent out of shape. Here’s a handy hack: Use florist netting from flower bouquets to keep your brushes away from each other. If you keep your brushes in a box or mason jar, pour in some glossy ornamental stones first. The beads will provide the foundation and support to keep your brushes standing upright.

7
You’re not refrigerating your rollers and skincare products.

If you haven't experienced the feeling of applying chilled skincare straight from the fridge, you're really missing out. Skincare fridges, like the FaceTory Fridge ($99; facetory.com), are the perfect size for your vanity. If you don’t have a skincare fridge, your eye creams, rollers, and serums can all be stored in the normal fridge (yep, alongside your eggs and condiments). I’d recommend reserving a shelf in your door dedicated to your skincare products so you can grab and go in the morning. Aside from feeling great and extending the shelf life of your products (pun intended), the cold will soothe puffy and inflamed skin.

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