As health conscious beings we would never eat or drink something that has passed expiration, so why don’t we think the same with products we put on our face? Many women are ignorant of the fact that using makeup and skincare past its best can have hugely damaging effects on our skin and eye health.

I've rounded up the 5 products you should never use past expiration, so before you put on that dodgy mascara you’ve owned for over a year now, give this post a read and it may make you consider having a beauty clear-out.

1.       Mascara
Believe it or not, mascara has a shelf life of just 6 months, and with so many of us regularly buying new mascaras to try out and then shoving them in a drawer for 5 months before pulling them out again, this means we’re using them past their best.
It’s pretty easy to tell if your mascara has expired, the formula will have gone dry and when applied it will feel sticky and clumpy on the eyes. Your eye area is extremely delicate and can pick up infections easily, using an old mascara which has excessive bacteria can irritate the area and make you more prone to infection- not really worth it, hey girls?

2.       Eyeliner
Although eyeliner tends to last a little longer than mascara, it is still applied very close to the opening of the eye, so using one past its best can run the risk of germ contamination. The best way to tell if your eyeliner has expired is if it is not applying well to the skin or seeming dry or coarse.

3.       Foundation
Being applied directly to your skin on a daily basis for a long period of time means using a foundation past its best can run the risk of clogging your pores, resulting in breakouts. The formula of a Liquid foundation past its expiration tends to separate after a long period of time and when applied may not sit right on the skin or the shading may be slightly off, it could also cause irritation or infection if you suffer from very sensitive skin.

4.       Lipstick
You will definitely know when it’s time to toss the lippy, the texture will feel dry, the colour may have changed slightly and it could cause your lips to crack or promote infection. Doesn’t really seem worth hanging on to that 2-year-old fuchsia shade now, does it?

5.       Moisturisers
Moisturisers should be thrown out after one year of use, yet with so many of us obsessed with trying the latest cult product, this means we tend to flit from one to the next. With skincare, it’s much more important to be aware of how old the product is, as you are actively applying it to better your skin health so there wouldn’t be much point in using an out of date one. Also if your daily moisturiser has SPF in it, this will also diminish once it’s past its best leaving your skin vulnerable to the harsh sun rays.

Let’s face it, I think we’d all prefer to be sunning ourselves somewhere tropical, cocktail in one hand, book in the other, but with so many of us strapped for cash, busy with work or with non-negotiable family plans, it’s hard to find the time for that getaway. You may not get that week away in the tropics, but you can sure enough trick people into thinking you’ve been away, I've put together 5 simple and easy hacks to fake that holiday glow.

      Fake bake it
    Probably the easiest way to fake that holiday glow is by investing in a decent face and body tan, ideally a gradual tanner as this will give you a more natural glow without the orange tinge or tiger streaks. It’s also recommended to purchase a separate face tanner, as these are tailor made for the delicate skin on your face so wont clog your pores or make you look cakey, perhaps opt for one with a little shimmer in for that added glow.

      Drink up
It’s no secret that drinking 8 glasses of water a day is the simplest and cheapest way to keep    your skin hydrated and looking fresh, however managing to drink this much can prove difficult when you lead such a busy life. Try keeping a reusable water bottle by your desk so you remember to top up each day and you will have a glowing complexion in no time.

      Facial Sprays
Hydrating facial sprays are perfect for busy woman who need to top up their skin hydration levels on the go. A quick spritz all over the face and neck instantly gives you a glowing complexion, eliminates that tight feeling and allows your skin to breathe.

      Bronze goddess
It’s time to invest in a really good cream bronzer, using a cream texture rather than a powder will make your skin look so much more natural and won’t leave you looking cakey. Contour it over the darker areas of your face to give your complexion a deeper glow as well as shaping your facial contours.
      Add a dash of Lemon
It’s a bit of an old school trick, but if you’re a natural blonde, squeezing lemon juice all over your hair will naturally bleach it blonde, so If you can’t afford highlights, this is the perfect way to give your hair a blonde boost and allow it to look as if it’s caught the sun.
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It can sometimes feel like a minefield trying to figure out the best products for your skin type and how they can combat your skin concerns. Luckily, I've debunked some of the top anti-ageing buzzwords so you know exactly what to adopt into your skincare routine. 

A widely used term within the beauty and skincare industry, Retinol products can help improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles whilst also smoothing the surface of the skin and improving uneven skin tone. You should apply a retinoid once a day, most preferably in the evening as skin will be sensitive to sunlight afterwards – use after cleansing your face and before applying your night-time moisturiser.

Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is most commonly taken orally, however it also has wonderful benefits for our skin when applied as a liquid directly onto the skin. Vitamin C can be easily added to your daily routine, and provides a range of benefits including evening out your skin tone, protecting your skin against pollution, improving hydration and generally keeping your skin looking youthful. Vitamin C can be applied directly onto skin, using a couple of drops of the product, in the AM or the PM before your moisturiser.

Hyaluronic Acid:
Hyaluronic acid has become hugely popular within the beauty industry of late and has been raved about by many industry professionals for its dramatic results to one’s complexion. This solution is able to work deep into the skin's layers to improve and benefit hydration and elasticity. The most common benefits of hyaluronic acid is its anti-ageing ability, and its ability to eliminate skin imperfections and wrinkles. Hyaluronic can be applied after washing your face, simply add to damp skin before your moisturiser – it can be used both in the AM and PM depending on your skins needs.

Green Tea:
Green tea has long been a savior for ones internal and external health, it has many benefits, with one being its anti-aging and antioxidant benefits that can help signs of skin aging, such as sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles. Green tea can be consumed at any hour of the day, there isn’t really a certain amount you need to see benefits – perhaps try one cup a day to begin with. You can also apply directly to the skin, just squeeze out the excess water and rub the actual tea-bag over your face for a few minutes which will give your skin an instant glowing complexion.

Jojoba Oil:
Jojoba oil has some very powerful antioxidants which help in regenerating the skin cells, leading to a more youthful and glowing complexion. Jojoba oil is not only good for face, but can also be used over the body instead in replacement of your normal moisturiser. Perhaps apply a few drops right after a bath or shower, while skin is still wet.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs):
Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs as they are more commonly known, are natural acids which come from acidic fruits such as lemons and oranges. These acids reduce the look of wrinkles and can prevent future wrinkles whilst also making skin much smoother. For the best results, use a product with concentrated AHA levels of 10 percent or less.

Antioxidants are an essential ingredient when it comes to anti-ageing and keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy. Antioxidants not only help target the elements responsible for signs of aging, but can also calm skin and help revitalize dull-looking skin. Antioxidants can be found in many beauty products on the market today such as moisturisers and serums.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10):
Collagen is highly important because it keeps your skin firm, while elastin gives your skin flexibility, when collagen is lost, this causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. CoQ10 helps the skin by acting as a strong antioxidant- It helps to banish those free radicals that promote premature ageing. Most people get enough CoQ10 from foods such as kidney, whole grains and oily fish – however it can also be bought as a supplement over the counter.

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, is a very effective ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin such as improving the appearance of un-even skin tone, large pores, wrinkles and dullness.  Niacinamide can be applied on the face of an AM and PM, just a couple of drops patted over the skin after cleansing and before moisturising.

Salicylic acid:
This Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) removes dead skin cells from the skin, both on the surface of your skin and deep within your pores, providing a deep exfoliation targeting the more clogged areas of the skin. Skin problems such as Pimples, blackheads and oiliness are all caused by excess oil and dead skin cells, the Salicylic acid works in ridding the cause, which means you’re less likely to suffer with blackheads and spots. Salicylic acid is best applied in the PM, using only a small amount as it is a very strong solution.

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Smartphones. Nearly every person has one, and let’s be honest, how could we now be without one? However, new research has shown that the blue light, also known as HEV light which is emitted from your phone could be playing a vital role in causing premature ageing.

So what exactly is HEV light?
HEV light is short for high energy visible light which appears blue in colour and is pretty close to UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum, meaning it is equally as damaging to the skin as it can be to other elements such as our eyes. You are exposed to this light from the sun’s rays as well as everyday gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, iPads and computer screens.

A 2010 study suggests that this wavelength of light can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, making it potentially even more invasive. The consequences include premature aging, wrinkling, and pigmentation of the skin. It’s pretty obvious that we aren’t going to rid of our smartphones any time soon, however there are a few things we can do to protect our skin.

Here are 5 ways you can protect against the dreaded blue light...

1.      Pile on the SPF
The best thing you can do is to apply a high SPF everyday, as just like with UV rays, HEV light can damage the natural processes of the skin, causing premature ageing to occur. Many women assume that you only need and SPF cream when heading out into the sun, but actually it can protect you from many different life elements, with HEV light being one of them.
2.      Limit your screen time
It may be worth taking a little digital detox to try and limit your screen time, using SPF will help protect your skin, but ultimately if you can limit using your usage, this will help your skin to regenerate and take a break from the light.

3.      Less frowning
It’s not just HEV light than can cause premature ageing, frowning or creasing your face up to look at something small can have a huge effect on your skin and can promote premature ageing through these muscle movements. The best way to stop this is to ensure you use your phone indoors, or in a place where you can see it clearly. Many people who use their phone in daylight end up frowning as they can’t see the screen properly.
4.      Invest in your Skin
2 little ingredients that will go a long way in your skincare are Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid. Vitamin C is an essential ingredient as it helps to stimulate collagen production, which keeps skin tight and plump to prevent wrinkles. Ensuring you have a regular daytime and night-time skin routine is paramount to protecting your skin against screens. Using a serum which is high in hyaluronic acid will help to re-plump and regenerate the skin. You should also ensure you are double cleansing and using a really good night cream so your skin can restore overnight before you start a new day.