21 May 2021

How to recycle makeup packaging and old products


Sometimes there’s makeup we never use again and then there are holy grail products where we consistently hit pan and rebuy. Flop products might end up pushed to the back of the drawer while the winners are used until empty and then thrown into the bin. Both are not sustainable options. There are two ways to increase your own personal level of sustainability when it comes to beauty products.

1. Recycling your empties
2. Disposing of expired makeup correctly

We’ll walk you through both ways of how to responsibly recycle and dispose of beauty products.

1. Recycling Empties

Firstly, congrats on finding a product you love so much you squeeze every last drop out of the packaging. You have to tell us what it is and why you love it.

Secondly, there are a number of ways to recycle your empties. Maybelline New York recently teamed up with TerraCycle to create the UK’s biggest makeup recycling scheme. The move comes after research conducted by Maybelline showed that 45% of people were unaware that you could recycle makeup. This, despite the fact that 83% would describe themselves as sustainably minded. You can visit one of 1000 Boots, Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Superdrug stores participating in the scheme. 

In the US, Garnier have worked with TerraCycle to recycle packaging at home. Just join the program, download a free shipping label and away you go! Just make sure it’s at least 15 pounds worth of empties as it helps reduce TerraCycle’s carbon footprint.

In a similar move, Boots and Kiehls also teamed up with TerraCycle to give your empties a new home. As an added incentive with Kiehls, for every kilo of packaging donated, the skin care brand donates £1 to a charity of your choosing. You also get discounts on any future Kiehls purchases if you sign up to their loyalty scheme.

2. Disposing of makeup correctly

Aside from all of these great recycling schemes, what about products where there is still product in the tube? Try not to throw any product still in its packaging directly into the bin. Squeeze what leftover product you have before wiping clean if possible and then recycle as above. Do not rinse in the sink – it’s actually better to put unwanted beauty products in landfill compared to water contamination.

In the long run, you may want to consider buying products with non-toxic ingredients or refillable products like all of our palettes. It’s certainly easy to throw everything away to go to landfill but making a difference today means we get a better tomorrow.