How to: Reduce Beauty Product Waste

There’s been a renewed push in recent months for companies to reduce plastic used in their products and shops, in favour of compostable, recyclable or biodegradable alternatives. The beauty products you use every day might be cased in plastic tubes or bottles – or the packaging that surrounded them when you bought them might have been made of plastic.  As consumers, we can also play our part in reducing plastic waste.

Reducing beauty product waste can be done in two ways:

  1. Buy products with less packaging, or recyclable packaging.
  2. Buy fewer products, or make full use out of products you buy before throwing them away.

The first method requires no explanation – but we know it can also be really tough to ditch favourite beauty products in favour of one that doesn’t work so well for you, just because it has recyclable packaging.

Going down the second route is more realistic for most of us – and the good news is that a few small tweaks can reduce significant amounts of product waste.

#1 Buy products that would otherwise be binned

Buying products in clearance sales isn’t just a handy money-saver – it also means that products that would otherwise be headed for landfill aren’t wasted. Look for off-season products that are heavily discounted, and buy tester perfumes that are the same quality as brand new perfumes, but without some of the packaging.

Remember: it’s expensive for both high-street stores and online retailers to hold onto old stock that’s slow to sell. Always look for clearance and end-of-season sales to grab products that might have ended up in the bin.

#2 Understand makeup expiry dates

You might be surprised that many makeup products ‘expire’ within a matter of months after opening. In other words, after this time there’s a risk they could actually harm your skin or eyes – or just not work quite so well as before. If you find that you struggle to use products before they expire, have a rethink about the products you buy. Make sure you only have a couple of types of mascara on the go at once, or try to cut down on lipstick shades (if at all possible!). Overall, don’t buy (and open) more products that you can get through.

#3 Fix broken or mismatched products

First of all, learn how to fix broken powder makeup like eyeshadow and setting powder! All you need is surgical spirit (aka rubbing alcohol) and a little patience.

And what if you buy a foundation shade that isn’t quite right, but you can’t return it? Try mixing it with other products. If it’s too dark, mix in moisturiser or primer – or use it for contouring or as a bronzer. If it’s too light, add bronzer or a darker foundation. You might also find that the shade’s a better match when the seasons change and your skin tone shifts.

#4 Cut into ‘empty’ products

When you can’t get any more product out of its container, transferring it to another pot can help you use every last bit of the product. ‘De-pot’ lipstick ends, warm up your mascara to declump it, and run dried out eyeliner pens under water for a few seconds. You can also cut into any products within soft tubes (like lotions, toothpaste, and even sunscreen), and you’ll find there’s plenty of product remaining that you couldn’t squirt out the usual way!  Just be careful that the container you decant the leftover product into is clean (and preferably sterile), otherwise it won’t be safe to use for long.

#5 Repurpose empty products

Finally, once your products are all used up, you may be able to repurpose them! Try using old perfume bottles as vases or candle holders, or use skincare containers as plant pots!

Overall, reducing beauty product waste can be incredibly satisfying – and save you money. We’d love to hear your tips for cutting back on plastic waste in your beauty routine.

Here at Direct Cosmetics, we sell a range of luxury unboxed products at great prices, helping you cut back on waste while grabbing a bargain.

(Pssst – if you’re looking for some fab deals on top brand beauty products, check out our clearance sale.)

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