How do you recycle your beauty empties? For those who have attempted to discard used mascara tubes, plastic applicators and old eye-shadow palettes, you’ll know there’s no simple answer. Most beauty packaging ends up on the rubbish tip, and back in 2018, a report by Zero Waste Week found that the beauty industry produces a shocking 142 billion pieces of packaging each year.
As beauty lovers continually become more conscious about the environment, it was only a matter of time before brands started to take notice and, most importantly, improve their sustainable options. Refillable beauty products—with packaging that can be used more than once—has become one answer to the beauty industry’s waste issue. It's certainly not going to solve all problems overnight, but is a small step that you can make to minimise the waste you create from new packaging when you replenish your favourite products.
Here are some of the best refillable products we’ve found on the market.
Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hot Lips 2’
Charlotte Tilbury has created a refillable option for one of the brand’s hero products. The ‘Hot Lips 2’ refillable lipsticks come in five designs and you can switch up your look with one of the many refillable shades available online and in stores.
L’Occitane Shower Oil
L’Occitane are doing their bit to help reduce plastic pollution with its substantial range of refillable bath and skincare products. Its best-seller is the Almond shower oil refill duo and alongside its many skin benefits, the oil is sustainably sourced. L’Occitane urges customers to keep the original bottle and purchase one of its refill packs in store or online when you’ve finished (and repeat).
Tata Harper Water Lock
Both an excellent primer and ingredient-rich moisturiser, Tata Harper's Water-Lock Moisturiser is a cult product amongst the beauty crowd. It’s also refillable which is another added bonus. After you purchase your first pot, you can top up moisturiser with Refill pods. These lock into the original refillable jar to help reduce overall waste.
Ouai Thick Hair Conditioner Refill
If, like me, you’re working your way through many bottles of conditioner during the colder months, then Ouai thick hair conditioner will help. Ouai’s refills use 60% less plastic than traditional plastic bottles. After you’ve finished your original Ouai bottle, use the pouches to keep your conditioner topped up.
Diptyque Hand Lotion
Dry hands are inevitable at the moment and I always have a hand lotion on standby. Diptyque has created a refill pouch for its popular velvet hand lotion, which allows you to fill the original reusable glass bottle.
Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Longwear Brow Pencil
Bobbi Brown has made refilling your everyday makeup simple. For the brand’s iconic brow pen, when your pencil runs out, simply remove the empty cartridge and insert the refill. Done.
Le Labo Fragrance
French Perfumers Le Labo offer an in-store refill service for all of its fragrances. Once you’ve finished your scent, you can take the bottle to Selfridges and other stockists to be replenished at a 20 percent discount.
Kjaer Weis Volumising Mascara Refill
After you purchase your very classy Kjaer Weis mascara metal case, you can keep it topped up with its volumising mascara refills. Though committing to just one mascara may be tough for some, the container houses enough mascara for up to 3 months of use, and then can be easily refilled to avoid bacteria build up.
Rituals Sakura Body Cream
For its popular bath and body products, Rituals have introduced many eco-friendly refill options. The Sakura Body Cream refill slips neatly into the original glass jar.
Sister & Co.
Not only are these candles vegan and cruelty free, they're refillable. Choose from florals to spices or citrus scents.
Choose from body wash, hand wash, or baby wash, these products are created in small batches by artisan makers in the UK. Once you've finished the product, you refill using the can, which you can replace over and over. Worth noting that Kankan chose aluminum cans as they're easier to recycle. The UK recycles over 72% of all cans, plus, it takes 95% less energy to make a can from recycled materials.
This perfume oil is created using organic plant ingredients and once you've finished, you can return the bottle for a refill.