How to recycle hygiene products and cosmetics?

Our bathroom is often full of beauty products. There are the ones we use daily and the ones that end in the cupboard. Sometimes we forget them, yet there are many ways to reuse or upcycle them. And there are just times when we don’t know where to throw them away. Reuse, recycle or throw away? In this article, we will help you to make the good calls! 

Things you should know about products recycling

I’ve finished my shampoo, where do I put it? What about my deodorant? And my perfume? We have solutions for you! Remember them and you’ll not have to worry anymore. 

First of all, the thing you have to know is that all your products have to be empty before throwing them away. If there is still product in the container, it ends in household waste. But try to finish all your products and do not hesitate to open them entirely to grab everything. 

And please, do not throw away a non-finished product! You can reuse it and we will see how in this article. Also, you don’t need to wash your container before sorting waste. We explained why in an Instagram post. 

The other thing to know is that all the products with a warning icon shouldn’t be recycled and you have to bring them to the tip. 

Be careful with that because sometimes, the recycling process depends on the country or the city you live in. Same goes for the bins, they are different according to the country and they don’t have the same colours for example. 

So if you want to make sure to have all the right information before throwing your rubbish,  you can find out about that on your municipality website. 

Here are the containers you can recycle: 

  • Plastic bottles or roll-on (shower gel, shampoo, cream, deodorant…): you have to recycle them with all the plastics. The cap has to be thrown away in the rubbish if it contains a metal part.
  • Glass bottles (perfume, foundation, nail polish, serum….): simply it’s the same, you have to recycle it in the right bin: the glass one. Be careful with nail polish, the brush and the cap go to household waste.
  • Aerosol (deodorant, sprays…): if there are no danger symbols such as flammable, harmful or dangerous for the environment you can recycle them with all that’s metallic.
  • Cardboard packaging: you can throw them in the bin for cardboard which is very often the same as the one for plastics.


But even when your products aren’t finished, there is still a solution!

Give your products a second life

There are still too many people who don’t finish their cosmetics because they don’t like them, they want to change or simply because they forget them. 

But, don’t throw them away! All the products deserve a second lease of life. 

Here are the keys to reuse your cosmetics easily:

  • Shower gel or shampoo: Long to finish? Don’t like it? You can reuse your shampoo or shower gel to wash your make-up brushes. Because yes, you have to wash your brushes! Normally once a week for the brushes in contact with the skin and twice a month for the ones in contact with eyes.


  • Mascara: You throw it away as soon as it’s dry? No, it can survive! You can wash the brush with hot water and add a few vegetable oil drops to make the mascara creamy again. But when the mascara is really finished (around 6 months) you can keep the brush and turn it into an eyebrow brush.


  • Nail polish: When it becomes doughy, you can add a few nail polish remover drops in the small bottle. If it’s just a question of taste, you can use your nail polish on your tights. Indeed, when you have a hole, you can put a few drops all around to avoid the hole enlargement.


  • Lipstick: Don’t like the colour? Difficult to finish? No worries! You can use it as a blush on your cheeks.


  • Sunscreen: It’s probably the worst product to finish… When summer ends, liquid often remains in it. And normally, you can’t reuse it the next year because it won’t last more than one year. We wrote an article about that if you want to know the risks incurred. When you don’t need it anymore, sunscreen can be used as a highlighter if it’s lightly pearly. Also, even when summer ends you can still use your sunscreen in autumn and winter when the sun shines.


  • Moisturizing cream: Your cream is too moisturizing? It’s not suitable to you? You can save it! Instead of throwing it away, you can make a mask. You apply it with a thick layer and let your skin absorb it as much as you want and then you rinse it. Say hello to moisturizing skin!


  • Oil: If you don’t finish it or if it’s too oily for you, you just have to add brown sugar to it and rub your skin softly. Then you rinse and that’s it! 


You now have the keys to recycle your products and give them a second life! When a product is finished, think about sorting waste. And when it’s not, think about how you can reuse it. And if you can’t do any of that, think of that one friend or sister that takes all the products/clothes you don’t want! Starting now, you can now pay more attention to the packaging when you’re buying your products.  If you are interested in an article about the keys to consume sustainably, leave a comment!


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