5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Beauty Bag

Ready for spring? Today’s post is an informative one as I’m sharing tips to spring clean your beauty bag. Just like you swap out your winter clothes for spring garments, you should do the same with your makeup and skincare routine.

Wash your brushes and sponges.

As we all know, makeup brushes and sponges are prime breeding grounds for bacteria. Ideally, you should wash your brushes at least once a week. I try to wash my makeup sponge every 3-4 days. I also like to use these brush cleansing cloths from EcoTools between cleanings as it’s an easy way to wipe off foundation and eyeshadow products.

I recommend using a brush cleaning spray like this one or if you’re on a budget, you can mix Cetaphil cleanser in a small bowl of water. Rinse with water and then lay flat to dry.

Toss expired products.

I tend to hold on to makeup and skincare products way longer than I should and this step always falls to the wayside. But it’s time to face the facts: makeup comes with expiration dates for a reason. Otherwise you could risk breakouts and bacterial infections.

  • Mascara has the shortest shelf life; you should toss after three months.
  • Liquid eyeliner and concealer are typically good for six months
  • Lipstick, lip gloss and foundation are good for a year-ish. Although beauty products made with natural ingredients typically expire after 3-4 months.
  • Oh—and don’t forget about nail polish. Nail polish tends to go bad after one year (and you’ll notice because they will get thick/dry/sticky and color will start to separate).

Donate or gift unused products

It’s very easy to fall into a trap of hoarding makeup, skincare, samples, and other products that will probably never get used. If you haven’t used a new product or sample within a month of getting it, then consider giving them to a friend. Also, if you’ve tried a new product and didn’t like it – consider returning it. I have a blog post that details popular beauty emporiums and return policies.

Update your daily moisturizer.

Typically your winter moisturizer is much thicker and richer so during the warmer months you can swap it out for something lighter, like hyaluronic acid or water-based formulas.

Swap out your winter makeup for spring essentials.

This is my favorite step. When you don’t have your makeup out in plain sight, it’s easy to forget what you already have or may need. I like to stow away winter eyeshadow palettes, dark lipsticks and all things glitter so I have room to showcase my spring and summer makeup favorites (like these Sephora beauty favorites).

Pull out your SPF.

Sunscreen has the shelf life of about two years, which is long compared to other products; however, if you leave your SPF out in the sun, then it can cause the active sunscreen ingredients to break down faster. So, if your SPF has a funky smell to it or it’s been in your house for more than two years it’s time to toss.


This post was originally published in April 2019 and updated as of March 2023.