Unsure of what to do with your finished or unused beauty bottles and appliances? Follow our guide to savvy beauty recycling.

The recent rise in awareness and change of attitudes towards sustainability and recycling is massively evident, especially in the beauty industry. A surge in eco-friendly products and packaging has got the whole country ensuring that they’re shopping ethically and doing their part to help save our beautiful planet. We recycle in the kitchen without a second thought, so why shouldn’t we do the same in our beauty cupboards?

Chances are, we’re still on a learning journey to find out what we can and can’t recycle out of our makeup bags. It can be difficult to know what to put where, but rest assured we’re here to help. So, first things first: get to know your labels.

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Do: recycle your hair tools.

Treated yourself to new straighteners? Before you throw out your old ones, consider whether they still work. If they do, take them to a charity shop or pop them on Depop or Vinted. The same goes for curlers, hairdryers or any other electrical products that are still in working order. If they don’t work, don’t bin them. Although you can’t always recycle them at home, if you take them to a recycling centre they’ll be happy to do it for you.

Do: recycle your plastic bottles.

Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel or any of your other potion collection bottles generally are recyclable, most plastic bottles are. Be sure to check the product bottle, just in case. Simply wash all the product out, dry it and you’re good to go. Yay!

Do: recycle your deodorant cans.

Aerosols that are in aluminium bottles can be recycled. These tend to be things like deodorant, hairspray and dry shampoos. Make sure you detach any parts that are removable and ensure that they’re fully empty before you bin them and don’t try to flatten or pierce them as it could be dangerous.


Don’t: recycle your foundation pump.

While the foundation bottle itself should be fine to recycle (many are glass or plastic which are both widely recycled) – there aren’t currently any foundation pumps that can be reused, so make sure you take that out of the bottle before you pop it in the bin.

Don’t: recycle ALL of your palettes.

The issue with palettes is that, although they’re generally made out of plastic, they tend to have mirrors in or use magnets to keep them closed. Plastic = recyclable. Mirrors and magnets = not recyclable.

Don’t: recycle your mascara wands.

Apart from the fact that you can’t recycle them, there are much better things you can do with them instead. The New Arc – The North East Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre in Aberdeenshire are appealing for people to send old mascara wands. They’re the perfect size for combing lice, dirt and fly eggs out of small animals and wildlife.

Image: Heather Fowlie via The New Arc

Don’t recycle makeup wipes.

Unless they’re labelled as biodegradable, unfortunately makeup wipes are not recyclable. Using cotton pads and a liquid makeup remover is a more sustainable option, so reach for those instead of makeup wipes as they’re actually not very eco-friendly at all.

Remember, if you’re not sure, check the labels and check your local recycling centre. We’re here for a good time, not a long time, but the Earth is and it needs to be looked after. We can all do our part by simply and easily recycling the things we use every day.

Feature image: Free Creative Stuff from Pexels