Makeup items have?a limited shelf life

You’d never take an expired prescription, but do you check your makeup? Formulas change as they age and may foster bacteria. Here are typical product life spans:

• Lipstick: Up to 2 years. Lipstick is one of the most stable cosmetics because it’s oil based (bacteria breed more easily in water). But after a year or two, natural oils like those from avocado, sunflower, or safflower can become rancid. You won’t have any negative health effects, but the product won’t go on smooth and may taste strange. Lipsticks without natural oils are more durable.

• Foundation: Six months to a year. You may see streakiness and changes in color or texture after six months, as the liquid formula breaks down and the pigment separates from the rest of the product (called demulsification). Also, germs could build up as the preservatives become less effective. Solid foundations won’t demulsify and last longer.

• Sunscreen: Six months to a year. Sunscreen can destabilize and lose SPF power, and the active ingredients may become less evenly distributed, which means you’ll get spottier coverage. Sprays have less contact with air, so they’ll last longer than tubes.

— Prevention magazine, via McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Hints from Heloise:

Old phone books ?weight down can

Brian S. in Oregon writes: I have a large kitchen garbage can and had trouble getting a full bag of garbage out. The full bag against the side of the can always created a sort of vacuum.

I put a couple of old phone books in the bottom of the can. Now, when I pull out the bag, the weight of the phone books makes the can slide off. I change the books when I get new phone books. Since I started putting the books in the bottom, I have never had to hold on to the can while taking out the garbage bag.

— King Features

Teach children

safety with dogs

Children must be taught how to be safe around dogs, whether it is a familiar dog, a new one, or even your own pet. Here are steps kids should take before petting any dog, according to the American Kennel Club:

• Ask permission: It’s very important to ask a dog’s owner first. Not every dog reacts the same way to strangers petting them, and the owner will know if the dog is friendly and if it is safe to approach.

• Approach calmly: If the owner says yes, make a fist, extend your hand slowly to the dog, and let him sniff the back of your hand. Dogs recognize people by scent, so letting him sniff your hand lets him become familiar with you.

• Where to pet: Once the dog has sniffed your hand, pet him gently under the chin or on the chest.

• Don’t hug: Dogs don’t hug each other, and they don’t understand hugs to mean love and affection like humans do. Wrapping your arms around a dog can stress him out and lead to a potential negative reaction.

• Keep your chin up: Never put your face down in front of a dog. This can be threatening to the dog and cause him to react.

For more information on safety around dogs, visit the AKC at

— McClatchy-Tribune News Service