How I am reducing waste with cosmetics

Reduce Waste Cosmetics

Since I was little my mother taught me not to waste anything. This created a lot of social problems in my life. I felt bad when a classmate used an A4 paper to write one line and then throw the whole paper away. For mathematics, I had a problem cause I used to cram the solution of a long equation in 3 columns. This made me lose some marks as the teachers could not read my crammed solution. At work, the printer sometimes prints gibberish. I take the papers to my desk to use the blank parts of the sheets.

Reducing waste and reusing material is something that is hard coded in me. It takes a lot of effort to convince me not to worry about waste. Below find a list of how I incorporated this lifestyle to cosmetics.

Use up animal tested products that I bought when the brand was cruelty-free or before I was cruelty-free

As soon as I started my cruelty-free lifestyle, I did not throw away the products that were not cruelty-free. It would not affect the company if I threw them away. What might affect the company is if I do not buy again. Throwing them away would affect my wallet and the environment. Ok, I might risk feeling guilty for using them but only till they are used up. So I kept using these products till they finished and replaced them with cruelty-free alternatives.

Cut tubes open when the product does not come out

To make sure that I used till the last drop, I get my scissors and cut the tube in half. Even if I squeezed the product out with a tube squeezer, there is always a good amount of the product left. I got an additional useful suggestion about this to put the extra product in a small container. It makes sense as till I use up the extra, the product is exposed to air and dust in the room. So I end up with a dirty product or the product dries and I can’t use the extra that I tried to save.

Finish a product before starting a new one

This is something that I am trying to do now. However, as a blogger, this is sometimes not easy. Some brands give me products and expect me to start using them very soon if not that minute.

Return containers

Some cruelty-free brands such as The Body Shop, Lush, Bottega Verde and Soap Cafe, offer the option to refill or return container. This is great. However, if no refilling is done I would prefer when possible to reuse it myself. The reason being that I do not know where the returned container really goes.

Reuse containers

Whenever possible I clean and reuse containers, even if the company offers the option to return container. Lush has recently launched some lipsticks which you can insert in the container of your old lipstick. I was thinking to give it a try, once I use up the 20 opened lipsticks that I have lying around.

Put lipstick leftovers in a lip balm jar

I have recently found this method of removing what’s left from the lipstick and put it in a small lip balm jar. Then you mix it with a bit of coconut oil and melt it for a few seconds inside a microwave oven and let it cool down until the mixture is solid with a smooth surface. Here I used an old The Body Shop lip balm container.

Reduce plastic packaging

This is something that I am planning to start this year. Next time that I will buy cosmetics, I will try to find ones that are not packed in plastic. For skin care it seems to be easier than for makeup.

Dilute the dry nail polish with a bit of remover

Not sure if this reduces waste or increases waste. However, when the nail polish in the bottle dries, I dilute it a bit with nail polish remover. Since then the quality of the nail polish seems to get a bit bad, I apply it on my toenails. I tend to do this when my feet are covered in socks and winter shoes.

Use soap bars

Soap bars come with no or little packaging. These last 8 years I opted for soap bars for my face and body. I want to do it for hair too but I have not found my favourite shampoo bars. Whenever I buy a shampoo bar I end up using it as a shaving bar.

What other suggestions do you have to reduce waste when using cosmetics?

DISCLAIMER: This is not a pr, sponsored or affiliate post.


(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.