Bucket List

How To Recycle Your Beauty Products

Knowing how to recycle your beauty products can be confusing. From shampoo bottles and old lipsticks, to hair straighteners and makeup palettes—we are expected to do everything in our power to “go green”. But, how do we know what to do? To help you out, we spoke to some experts across the pond to get their advice on how to recycle your beauty products.


“How To Recycle Your Beauty Products”

By the experts


Even though we might not do it on a daily basis, no one can deny the benefits of recycling in all areas of our lives. To find out more about this topic, the RedLily™ team caught up with the experts at Currentbody International to find out what they had to say about going green in the beauty industry.

Going green with beauty

Most people are aware that eco-living and sustainability are increasingly under the microscope—and for beauty products it’s no different. In fact, with 1 in 4 people saying they value environmentally, friendly beauty products all over the world*, there’s a clear demand for more knowledge in this area. *Source: Mintel 2019 Beauty and Personal Care Retailing Report.

“We all have a responsibility to do our part when it comes to recycling, and the beauty industry is no exception. Consider whether you’re willing to switch your beauty must-haves to more sustainable solutions that won’t need to be constantly replaced.”

It’s important to think about investing in something like a cleansing brush that will last a lot longer (and be less harsh on the environment) than continued use of cleansing wipes.

“From empty shampoo bottles to dry shampoo and hair straighteners, there are plenty of ways to make a difference.”

With the amount of products that we buy for our faces and bodies, it’s vital to understand how we can best dispose of them—so we can remain conscious of our impact on the environment.

If you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that a lot of the packaging and applicators we buy aren’t recyclable at all. That’s why it’s important to know what you can and can’t do with your beauty products when you’re finished with them. One thought is to explore plastic-free alternatives to your favorite beauty products.

Tip: At a bare minimum, check that the packaging is recyclable. Do the beauty products that you’re using have a recycling scheme? Many brands do nowadays.

To help you out, here is a quick overview:

Can recycle:

  • Hairdryer – Must be taken to a recycling centre.
  • Shampoo bottles – Ensure you remove all plastic caps—and wash the bottle thoroughly and dry.
  • Deodorant can – Made of steel or aluminium, both of which are recyclable. Just make sure the can is completely empty and detach any removable parts.

Partly recyclable:

  • Mascara – While mascara tubes are mostly made from recyclable material, applicators typically aren’t. Make sure to separate these out before disposing.
  • Foundation bottles – Currently no pumps on the market are recyclable. If the bottle is glass you can recycle but ensure you’ve washed and dried it first.
  • Makeup palettes – Most palettes contain magnets and mirrors which aren’t recyclable, so these parts need to be disposed separately.

Can’t recycle:

  • Make-up wipes – Unless labelled as biodegradable, makeup wipes are not recyclable. Consider buying reusable makeup pads or cotton pads instead.
  • Nail varnish bottles – Due to various hazardous toxins found in nail varnish, glass bottles are not recyclable. Even though thoroughly rinsed.
  • Make-up brushes – Neither animal hair nor vegan brushes are currently recyclable.


Here’s an in-depth Recycle Beauty Guide that you can print and save. Happy recycling!

Editor’s note: Got an idea for a bucket list article that will inspire women to live their best life, help the environment, or travel for self-discovery? Email [email protected]