Skin Care & Makeup Organization: How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Products

When it comes to a big home clean out, we often think about the big areas first like our closets, kitchens, and pantries. But there’s one crucial area in your home that also needs spring cleaning, and it’s your beauty cabinets.

When’s the last time you gave the insides of your bathroom cabinets a good purge? If you can’t remember, then it’s time. Skincare and makeup products expire, hair collects in drawers, and if you’re anything like me, there are probably half a dozen snapped hair ties living somewhere amongst this area.

Keep scrolling to see how to spring clean and organize your skincare and makeup products.

How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Products

How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Products

Start by Taking Everything Out

I like to spring clean my beauty cabinets just like I’d do a closet cleanout: by taking everything out and dumping it into a single spot.

Open and empty your drawers, cabinets, makeup bags, and even purses.

By having all of your makeup and skincare products in a single space, you can see exactly what you haven’t used, what you may have duplicates of, and what products may need replacing or restocking.

Throw Out Expired Items

Regardless of how often or how much you love a product, if it’s expired, toss it.

Most unopened beauty products can last 2-3 if stored in a cool, dry place, but once something is opened, you really shouldn’t use it past its expiration date.

Over the counter (OTC) products like acne treatments and sunscreens are required by the FDA to have expirations dates like food. Once an item is expired, any the active ingredients/ efficacy drops, and it may not work or protect you as it intended to.

For non-OTC items, look for an illustration of a little jar with a number/letter combo near it (like 3M, 6M, 12M, and so on). This is the “period after opening” range and it indicates how many months a beauty product stays fresh once it’s opened. Expired makeup can harbor bacteria, leading to irritation, breakouts, and infections just like dirty makeup brushes.

Here’s a general rule of thumb for makeup products:

  • Toss after 3-6 months of opening: eyeliners and mascara
  • Toss after 12-18 months of opening: foundation, concealers, blush, lip gloss, cream items, and eyeshadow
  • Toss after 24 months of opening: lipstick and lip liners, powder face products like blush

For the most part, skin care products can last about one year unless they contain an active ingredient like Vitamin C or are acne or SPF products.

If you can’t remember the last time you used a product or it looks/smells different than when you bought it, you need to throw it out.

Clean Makeup Brushes and Tools

Makeup brushes can gather bacteria over time and they’re a huge culprit when it comes to breakouts and skin infections. Properly clean your makeup brushes and sponges, then resolve to clean them regularly. Makeup brushes should be cleaned at a minimum of twice per month. Not only will this keep breakouts from dirty brushes at bay, your makeup brushes last longer when properly cared for.

I love this makeup brush cleanser; I squeeze a little of it onto my makeup brushes, then massage the bristles with warm water, and rinse.

Check What Needs Replacing

After you’ve tossed expired items and cleaned your makeup brushes, check to see what needs replacing and make yourself a list.

Once you’ve gotten rid of excess items, it’s time for the actual cleaning process of your drawers, cabinets, and storage bins.

Wipe and Disinfect Your Space

With everything out of their drawers and cabinets, it’s the perfect opportunity to wipe down all surfaces just as you’d spring clean another area of your home. Disinfect with cleaning spray and vacuum out excess hair from drawers.

While you’re at it, be sure to sanitize your makeup bag if you have one. If it’s too dirty to clean, throw it out and plan to invest in a new one.

Skin Care and Makeup Organization

Invest in Proper Storage

Beauty drawers and cabinets can get messy quickly, so it’s important to invest in the proper skincare and makeup storage.

I use clear organizers and clear bins because they allow you to see exactly what’s inside each one. You can get them in variety of sizes. Make sure you measure your drawers and cabinet interiors so you purchase the right size storage, and take into account any obstacles like pipes.

Detangle Cords

When I see a bunch of mangled cords in a drawer, I get majorly stressed. I use reusable rubber twist ties to keep hair tool cords in check.

Organize for Function, Not Aesthetic

While a color-coordinated shelfie makes for an Instagram-worthy photo, it’s not usually the most functional way to organize products. Organize your beauty routine for practicality, not for photos. There, I said it, and that’s coming from someone who takes photos for a living!

Keep what you reach for the most, in the most accessible spaces.

This could mean the lower shelf of a medicine cabinet or in a waist-level drawer.

For items you use less frequently (weekly or monthly), tuck those away higher up, further back, or in a lower drawer.

For example, I have two bins that sit toward the front of my cabinet for my skin care products. One is for taller regular-use items like face wash, sunscreen, and moisturizer, and the other bin is for small items like serums and oils. The shorter items go in front so that they don’t get lost behind the taller items.

Makeup Organization

For my “everyday face” products, I keep those in a makeup bag, separate from my other products. I keep these items all together so that I can get to them easily and quickly, just like my daily skin care products.

For everything else, my makeup organization is split up between two drawers. I use a divided tray to separate product categories. For long items like mascara and pencils, I store them upright in acrylic toothbrush holders! Anything that can store vertically like makeup palettes, lipsticks, and pencils should go that way; it saves so much space.

For makeup brushes, I prefer storing them in a makeup brush cup. The brushes get more air to breathe this way, and they’re not rubbing up against anything else or the inside of a dirty makeup bag. To prevent your makeup sponge getting dirty, store it in a breathable silicone sponge case!

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

Follow on Social

shop my instagram

don't miss out

Sign up for emails and never miss a blog post!

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.27.20

    I need to do this and throw out some old makeup and skincare. I always feel so wasteful though lol. I also use old glass candle holders to put my makeup brushes in!