How to Recycle Old Beauty Products

How to Recycle Old Beauty Products

We often talk about taking a moment to look at what’s working and what’s not in your skincare routine. But one thing we don’t talk much about is how you can go about recycling the empties or disposing of products that you feel aren’t working for you. This is important considering the global cosmetics industry creates approximately 120 billion units of packaging each year. 

Below are some ideas on what to do with your used skincare product packaging: 

Prepare your beauty product packaging for recycling

When you're finished with your beauty products, don't just toss the packaging in the trash - recycle it instead! Here's how to prepare your packaging for recycling:

  • Rinse out any remaining product from containers. If the container is made of glass, metal, or rigid plastic, you can remove the pump or sprayer before recycling.
  • Remove any labels or stickers from containers. If the label is glued on, you can try soaking the container in warm water to loosen the glue.
  • Squeeze out any remaining product from tubes and bottles. You can also cut open tubes to remove any leftover product.
  • Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept caps and lids. Some centers do not accept these items because they can fall through the sorting equipment.

By taking a few extra steps to prepare your packaging for recycling, you can help reduce waste.

What materials are easy to recycle

There are many materials that can be recycled easily, including paper, glass, metal, and plastic. 

  • Paper can be recycled by crushing it and turning it into new paper products. Glass can be melted down and reused to make new glass products. 
  • Metal can be melted and formed into new metal products. 
  • Plastic can be melted and formed into new plastic products. 

These materials can all be recycled over and over again, making them very environmentally friendly. The problem with these materials comes when they aren’t recycled - as we’re well aware there’s too much plastic being disposed of instead of recycled. 

Compost paper or cardboard packaging

Many people don't realize that their paper and cardboard packaging can be composted. This includes things like postcards, brochures and outer packaging/boxes. While most people think of composting as a way to reduce food waste, paper and cardboard packaging can actually make up a significant portion of household waste. 

Luckily, it's easy to reduce your environmental impact by composting this type of material. Paper and cardboard are made from renewable resources, so they break down relatively quickly in a compost pile. In addition, they help to aerate the compost, which is essential for the decomposition process. As a result, composting paper and cardboard packaging is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

When adding your paper or cardboard to your compost pile it’s important to shred it first. And, if there is a wax coating on any of the material, submerge it into water until the coating disappears. 

Reuse glass jars or bottles for storing carrier oils or small items like buttons or jewelry

Glass bottles and jars are such a versatile item to have around the house. You can use them for everything from storing spices in the kitchen to holding flowers in a vase.

But did you know that glass jars can also be reused for smaller items like buttons and jewelry? Simply wash out the bottle or jar and let it air dry. Then, add a lid and start filling it with something else. This is a great way to stay organized and cut down on clutter. Plus, it's eco-friendly! So next time you have a glass bottle or jar that you're about to throw away, think twice. It might just come in handy for something else.

Donate unused full size or samples of beauty products to a local women's shelter

Most of us have at least a few beauty products that we never use. Maybe it's a shade of lipstick that's just not quite right, or a bottle of nail polish that we bought on impulse and then never used. 

Whatever the reason, these unused products can quickly add up, taking up valuable space in our homes. But rather than throwing them away, consider donating them to a local women's shelter. The women who stay there will be grateful for any beauty products that they can use, and it's a great way to clear out your clutter. Just be sure to check with the shelter first to see what kinds of products they accept.

How to recycle your Avoila Nourishing Face Oil bottles and packaging: 

  1. Recycle or compost the outer packaging, cylinder and paperwork with your household recycling 
  2. Remove the dropper from the bottle and separate the glass from the top of the dropper
  3. Rinse out the glass dropper and glass bottle and place with your glass recycling 
  4. Discard the rubber dropper and metal ring - these are the only items not recycled

That’s it, easy peasy! 

Resources for Recycling & Composting

  • Terracycle: A great resource for learning about how to recycle various materials. They also partner with many companies to help recycle their finished products - so you can send your used items to Terracycle and they handle the recycling from there. 
  • Composting is easier than you think. Click here for the basics on how to start a composting pile. 


What materials aren’t recyclable? 

Oftentimes items that are too small (index card width or a small tube) get lost in the processing of recycling materials so it’s best to leave those out of your household recycling. 

Also, anything that’s flexible or squeezable can’t be recycled (think toothpaste tubes, hand lotion tubes or outer packaging for face/eye masks)

Are there any large stores that facilitate recycling of beauty products?

Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack have partnered with Terracycle to offer recycling bins for beauty products in select stores. You can find participating locations here.

Credo also partners with Terracycle to provide recycling. And, they also offer their customers points for for each full-size product brought in, up to 12 per visit. 

What else can I do besides recycling when thinking about my beauty products? 

Support brands that make products that are easily recyclable and make sustainability a priority. Some brands even offer refillable packaging now which is just amazing! You can find lipsticks, mascara, shampoo, etc. that offer refill pouches that you can use to refill your original bottles. 

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