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    Your beauty routine’s dirty little secrets and what small steps you can do to improve your regimen

    Whether you are heading to a backyard barbeque or a summer soiree, a healthy, glowing complexion is the best accessory this summer. Everyone knows the drill about proper skin cleansing and moisturizing regimens, however, many women are interfering with their skin health by not taking the same care when it comes to their beauty products.

    “Keeping skin looking radiant is no small feat,” says Stacey Ramstedt, senior director of marketing at Paris Presents Incorporated, a global leader in beauty products and personal care accessories. “Women are careful about the makeup and products they use on their skin, but overlook the importance of maintaining those products for optimal use and skin health.”

    Are you guilty of these dirty secrets?

    Mistake 1: Never washing makeup brushes

    A whopping 43 percent of makeup brush users report they never wash their makeup brushes, according to a 2014 quantitative online survey among 212 makeup brush users. Brushes not only collect makeup residue, but they also hold dirt, oil and other impurities. A regular maintenance routine ensures brushes are clean when they touch your skin, plus it boosts brush performance and integrity so they last longer.

    Cleaning makeup brushes does not have to be a time-consuming chore. For daily cleaning and quick color changes, try EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths. They help keep your brushes fresh and conditioned. For a weekly deeper clean, use EcoTools Makeup Brush Shampoo to get your brushes back to new. Both are made from plant-based ingredients and are dermatologist tested so they are safe for sensitive skin.

    Mistake 2: Using expired makeup

    Similar to the kale salad you had for lunch, your makeup comes with an expiration date. While it may not give a specific “use by” date, the general rule is to replace mascara and eyeliners every three months, liquid foundation every six months and powder eyeshadow every two years. We all struggle with letting go, with 89 percent of women hanging on to makeup just in case they need it later, according to a Stowaway Cosmetics survey. Which means at best makeup will be poor-performing, and at worst, it can bring bacteria to the skin and eyes, causing irritation.

    Keep in mind, the more often you use the product, especially with your fingers, the more often you should replace it.

    Mistake 3: Relying on products to include your sun protection

    It is no secret that sunscreen helps maintain skin health. By blocking dangerous ultraviolet rays, sunscreen is a key tool to protect the skin against cancer and premature aging. Recognizing the benefits, most face lotions and products on the market today include a sunscreen ingredient. But be cautious, similar to the products in your makeup bag, sunscreens do not last forever and should be replenished.

    While sunscreens are designed to remain at original strength for up to three years, according to the Mayo Clinic, the sunscreen ingredients in your favorite face products may not last as long. In fact, facial moisturizers and serums should be tossed after six months to a year. Be on the lookout for PAO (Period After Opening) notations on new products or look for a number followed by an M to tell you how many months after opening the product should be tossed. To be safe, be sure to use an oil-free high SPF face sunscreen after your moisturizer to provide any extra level of protection all summer long.

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