BlackAngel asks…I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about a foundation I bought recently (Rimmel). Straight after purchasing and opening it was very watery? I tried shaking the bottle hoping it would fix its self but nope!! There is also a mild smell to the product. Is this a sign that its shelf life may be over?? If so I then cannot help questioning how these products continue to be sold in this sort of condition in reputable department stores.
The Right Brain responds:
You didn’t specify which product you bought but if it’s the Rimmel Perfect Match formula, the three primary ingredients are water, cyclomethicone, and talc. These three components are not mixable and it can be tricky to hold them together. There are three primary reasons this product could separate:
Typically foundations should be good for a year after opening. But even though you just bought the product, it could be past its expiration date if it sat on the shelf for a long time. (If the foundation contains sunscreen then it should have an expiration date on the package so you can confirm how old it is.)
Exposure to elements
Even “fresh” formulas can have stability problem if they’re exposed to temperature extremes. If the product you bought happened to sit in the back of a truck in Texas in the hot sun, the long exposure to heat could have caused separation. (Conversely, if you bought it in the winter freezing temperatures could cause the same problem.)
Brush with bacteria
Bacteria love to eat organic chemicals like those used as emulsion stabilizers. (Organic in this context means “carbon based” not necessarily “natural.”) If the batch of foundation (or the bottle it was filled in) was contaminated, the microbes could have grown and caused the emulsion to break apart (this could also cause the off-odor that you mentioned.)
The Beauty Brains bottom line
If you have any doubt that the product is in a usable condition then THROW IT AWAY. Or, better yet, return it the store and politely ask for a refund.
Have you had problems with expired products? Leave a comment and share your experiences with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.