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How to Recycle Your Old Beauty Products

Help the planet stay beautiful too.

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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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. In return, you get 500 Advantage points.

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


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

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

Cloud 9

Got a broken hair iron you don’t know what to do with? Have Cloud 9 help you recycle it.

You just have to send it to the brand (even if you purchased it from a different brand) by downloading a free pre-paid postage label from its website and dropping the package off the post office nearest you.


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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serum in a dropper bottle

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.


Maybelline’s recycling not just its products. You can take all of your recyclable beauty product packaging to any of its recycling stations at Superdrug, Tesco, Boots, and Sainsbury and they’ll do the work for you.

Neal’s Yard

Neal’s Yard’s current packaging can be taken to recycling centres, but come 2025 all of the brand’s plastic bottles will be 100% recyclable.

For pumps and atomisers, just take them to a Neal’s Yard branch near you and they’ll take care of the rest.

The Body Shop

The Body Shop has always prided itself on being a conscious beauty brand.

In addition to its ‘earth-friendly’ production, the brand also partnered with Terracycle to receive empty tubs and tubes for recycling. 

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