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How to Recycle Your Old Beauty Products

Easy, peasy.

I love everything about beauty products – from nerding out about skincare ingredients to trying out make up trends. I guess it comes with the territory of being a beauty writer!

The only thing I don’t enjoy however is the aftermath, when I’ve finished with the products and I’m left with an empty bottle to dispose of somehow.

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It’s easy just to throw my empty containers in the trash and forget about it, but after discovering that there’s so much plastic in our oceans that you can already see it from outer space, my conscience gets the better of me.

an image of beauty product packaging

Sadly, a big chunk of this waste is from beauty and personal care products, so it’s vital that we look for ways to recycle or reuse beauty bottles.

The burden of course should primarily be shouldered by the companies that offer these products, but we can always help out in our own way – such as by recycling our beauty products.

I recommended repurposing emptied beauty products — a serum bottle can be a tiny plant propagation bottle, a body scrub jar can be used to store trinkets, and there are plenty more uses for our old bits and pieces.

But did you know that some beauty brands can also take care of recycling for you? Here are the ones that offer recycling schemes and how to utilise them.

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Where to recycle your beauty products


You can drop off all your empty beauty, health and wellness products no matter which brand they’re from at Boots and they’ll recycle them for you. When you bring five empty products to one of the recycle bins in select stores, you’ll be rewarded with 600 Boots Advantage Card points when you spend £10 or more.

You can also track how many products you’ve contributed and how they’ve been repurposed.

Read all the details about Boots’ recycling scheme.

Cloud 9

Got a broken hair iron you don’t know what to do with? Have Cloud 9 recycle it for you – and it doesn’t even need to be from them.

Simply send it to Cloud 9 by downloading a free pre-paid postage label from its website and dropping the package off the post office nearest you.

Download your postage label at Cloud 9.

pink mascaras on a pink background


Kiehl’s has a Recycle & Be Rewarded program, which it’s running in partnership with Terracycle.

You just need to bring your Kiehl’s empties to the brand’s stores or Terracycle’s recycling stations to get cash that you can then donate to a charity of your choice. Every kilo makes £1.

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Maybelline has teamed up with Terracycle to enable customers to recycle their products easily.

Like many other beauty recycling points, you can recycle any brand’s make up with Maybelline.

All you need to do is find your nearest recycling station (which includes Superdrug, Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s stores nationwide), drop off your used products, and Terracycle will collect them for you.

Read all the details about their recycling service at Maybelline.

Neal’s Yard

You can take any of your clean and dry Neal’s Yard’s product bottles to any branch and they’ll recycle them for you.

They also offer a refill scheme, where you can refill two of the brand’s most popular products in-store for a discounted rate price.

Read more about Neal’s Yard’s packaging.

serum in a dropper bottle

The Body Shop

The Body Shop offers a Return, Recycle, Repeat scheme, which allows you to recycle your old products with them.

Ensure your old bottles, pumps, tubes etc. are as empty and clean as possible, then pop into any store and drop them in one of the Return, Recycle, Repeat bins.

The empties don’t need to be from The Body Shop, and they’ll do the rest for you.

Read all the details at The Body Shop.

Which brands offer recyclable packaging?


Haircare brand Champo’s products are recyclable, from the outer packaging to the tube that houses the actual product.

The cardboard the brand uses is 80% recyclable, while the plastic bottles are 100% recyclable.

L’Oreal Elvive

The new L’Oreal Elvive products are now housed in recycled and recyclable materials. So after you’ve finished them, you can just take them to Boots for recycling.

Neal’s Yard

By 2025, 100% of Neal’s Yard’s plastic bottles will be 100% recyclable. Right now, all the blue plastic shower, hair and skincare bottles up to 300ml are made from 100% recycled material.

Neighbourhood Botanicals

Neighbourood Botanicals offer products in recyclable glass, aluminium tin, or as a last resort, in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.

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