When I was a kid, I used to creep into my parents’ room in the morning, to watch my Mom get ready for work. It wasn’t an elaborate process, as she hardly wore makeup except for powder, blush and lipstick, but she would, in the morning and evening, spend a little time at her dressing table. So, I grew up with the notion that a dressing table, or a vanity table was something everyone had, as a place to put their skincare and makeup.
I later found out that I wasn’t quite on the mark, because I saw that a lot of people actually talked about keeping their cosmetics – skincare and makeup – in the bathroom. I remember coming across a tip in a magazine once, many years ago, that suggested that skincare, in particular, be kept in the bathroom, so it was within easy reach for use after a shower, or washing your face in the morning and evening.
I also recently came across some pictures on Instagram, of people showing off their bathroom shelves filled with their skincare and back-up skincare, and some, with makeup. So, naturally I got to wondering.
Do you keep your skincare and makeup in your bathroom? Should you do that?
Well, I’m going to put it out there and say that no, you should not be putting your skincare and makeup in the bathroom. If you do, I’d highly recommend that you remove it at your soonest opportunity, and if you really care about the stuff you put on your face, to find some space in your bedroom for them.
Humid bathrooms cause skincare and makeup to degrade more quickly
If you didn’t already realise, bathrooms are very humid places. This is true in every country of the world. Where it’s cold, that’s where you go for your hot, steamy showers, that fill the room, and everything in it, with a fine mist. If you live where it’s hot like I do, the air is already humid as it is, and showering always adds water vapour into the air.
Lovely. Now, imagine what that’s doing to your skincare and makeup sitting by the sink or in the damp, dank bathroom cabinets *shudder* It will not react immediately, but heat and humidity from your regular showers (I sure hope they are regular! :P ) will cause your cosmetics to degrade more quickly, and for bacteria or microbes to grow and multiply more quickly.
If you’re going to spend all that money on good quality skincare, the last thing you want, is for them to turn on you. Ditto makeup. If you’ve never seen an eyeshadow palette go mouldy, try keeping it in a damp environment for a while and see what happens.
Also, bathrooms tend to be quite bright places, and light isn’t always good for cosmetics either.
Bathrooms aren’t the cleanest rooms in your house
As clean as you keep your bathroom, it isn’t the cleanest room in your house. It can’t be. You go in there to wash away dirt in the bath or shower, and if it’s an en-suite with a toilet (and most are), I think it’s self-explanatory. It’s a known fact that just the mere act of flushing with the toilet lid up can release millions of bacteria into the air. Now, imagine that your skincare and makeup are in that room. Not a pretty thought, yes?
Store your makeup and skincare in a cool, dry place
Ok, so you’ve removed your skincare and makeup from your bathroom. Where should you store them? Logically, a cool, dry place away from the light is ideal. Light and heat can interfere with many ingredients in skincare e.g. retinol or vitamin C products, and cause them to lose their efficacy. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on your cream, only to find it does not work, do you?
When I set up my vanity, I pick a place as far away from the window as possible. While I realise that it’s counter-productive to doing makeup in natural light, I’d much rather ensure that my products are kept at their optimum efficacy for longer. If I really wanted more light, I can use a lighted mirror or, simply move myself closer to the window.
I also always have my curtains drawn for most of the day, when the sun is at its strongest, which keeps my room cool. This is a problem when you live in the Tropics as I do, but might be less of an issue where it gets cold. In that case, your concern might be more of damp. So, pick a place in your room that’s cool and dry. Even if you have weak sunlight, I still won’t place my cosmetics by the window :P
Instead of a vanity table, consider a dresser, chest of drawers or the closet
Not all of us have the luxury of having large and elaborate vanity tables or dressing rooms. Space is a luxury in most modern homes, especially if you live in an apartment or in the city. Vanity tables can take up a lot of space, and if I’m to be honest, not boast of that much space to place your lotions, potions, powders and creams.
So, I use a chest of drawers. I have learned from experience that I prefer to stand to do my skincare routine and makeup, instead of sitting down, so the lack of a chair suits me fine. My chest of drawers is about chest-level, which puts my skincare and makeup at eye-level. Because of what it is, it gives me space in the drawers in which to keep my products, away from heat and light. For me, this works.
If floor space is at a premium, see if you can keep your cosmetics in a shelf in your closet. Doable, if you don’t have 300 blushes (ahem! :P ) but otherwise, could pose a challenge. Otherwise, if you don’t have 300 blushes, consider a cosmetics box, maybe, that you can store in a cupboard, and take out when you need it. Your daily skincare could go in a basket or tray that you keep on your bedside table (if its not exposed to bright light and heat).
Personally, the only products I keep in the bathroom are my face washes, shampoo and body washes. I don’t even keep body oils and body creams or lotions in there for the same reason I won’t keep my skincare in there – I don’t want them turning bad. Because I use face and body washes and shampoo everyday, they eventually run out quite quickly, and I think the PH level is unfriendly enough to the growth of bacteria.
The only time I think keeping skincare in the bathroom might be a little more OK, would be if you have a very large, cool bathroom, with your shower and toilet tucked away at one end, and your vanity at the other end with little sunlight, and some dehumidifying contraption that keeps the air in the bathroom dry.
Otherwise, I’m not for it, no matter how much time it saves. Seriously, how long do you really need, and how lazy do you have to be to not want to walk out of the bathroom to do your skincare somewhere else? You still have to get out of the bathroom some time. Anyone that lazy probably won’t care anyway if their product degrades, in which case, carry on! :P
So tell me: Do you store your skincare and makeup in your bathroom? If you don’t, where do you keep them?
Be honest now! If you do, you might want to rethink things, because it’s not the most hygienic place in your house to keep them. If you don’t, tell me where you keep yours – mine are in my bedroom! :)