I’m a bit of a hoarder. There I’ve said it and I’m out. I love tying up the bits of ribbon that come off parcels, and pretty boxes never seem to get thrown away. I’m a sucker for a tin – cake, biscuit, tea, notecard. I have a collection of empty Arbonne Genius Bottles – you know those little tiny bottles with the Phytinol (Vitamin A) in them that literally takes your skin to another level, which I regularly use to display garden flowers.
My garage is filled with stuff! But I also love tidying. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than a good clear out, setting a box To Throw, a box To Rehome and a box To Charity up and getting to work at filling them. At first glance, tidying might seem like a fairly mindless activity but, as many therapists now agree, decluttering can actually be very mindful!
The queen of tidying, Marie Kondo has made a whole career from decluttering, and much of her thinking is as applicable to your bathroom cabinet as it is to a wardrobe. As well as helping you make space, a skincare spring clean will help you focus on what’s necessary to your daily routine in an exercise that amounts to ‘dermal downsizing’. And that’s good news for your pocket and the environment.
So let’s begin
To start with, you’re bound to have a few things which have passed their best. Throw out anything that is past its expiry date. Most products will have a little symbol resembling an open pot with a lid and a number on it somewhere on the packaging. So for example, 18m tells you it’s good for 18 months once opened. If you want to stay within the usage time, write the date you first opened it on the bottle so you can gauge when it needs to head for the recycling bin. This is particularly important with things like mascaras and eye gel liners etc as there are mites that live in your lashes (and essentially keep them healthy) but which get into your products and die there - decompose there too! I know yuk!
Going through your makeup or skincare products and asking, as Marie Kondo suggests, if this ‘sparks joy’ is also an exercise worth doing. We all keep things because they were expensive, or a gift when in fact they did nothing for our skin and we don’t like the feel or smell of them!
Many skincare products, especially ones which are scented like shower gels, fragrances or even deodorants, are designed to resonate with us emotionally. So, if your moisturiser isn’t making your skin feel soft and supple, that shower gel isn’t hitting the spot (if not, ask me about my favourite Arbonne ones), or the fragrance you got for Christmas, Easter or Mother’s day isn’t doing it for you, ditch it or pass it on and find something that does. Why settle for something that’s just OK when it can be amazing?
It’s amazing how much dirt, dust and dead skin cells makeup and brushes pick up even if used rarely. Give all your makeup brushes a weekly clean with a mild soap or brush cleaner (I use the Arbonne rescue and renew detox wash) and dry naturally. In the summer just leaving them brush head pointing down so any water drips off the brush and not into the head is enough but in the winter finding a warm place to dry them – an airing cupboard, boiler room or heated towel rail - speeds this process.
Storage is another area Marie Kondo is hot on. I’ve invested in some transparent boxes and trays which allow me to see how much stuff I’m accumulating and access everything easily. It’s a good job I now work with Arbonne as all this product is now a business expense and could be for you too. Ask me how!
How to organise your products.
Group products together by function (moisturisers, exfoliators, etc) and decide which one is your absolute favourite. Be utterly ruthless and stick to this one going forward, give the others away or throw them out. Anything that’s brand new and unopened can always be given to a Food Bank as they are always in need of personal care products as well as food items. There’ll be one local to you if you google it. And makeup products can be sent to a charity like Give and Makeup, PO Box 855, London, W4 4AW that provides women who have fled difficult situations, often with just the clothes they are standing in, with the basics to start to feel like a woman again.
Once you’ve got on top of your beauty and personal care products you’ll feel so much lighter and it’s amazing how much money you’ll save sticking to brands that you know, love and trust too.