Recycling Your Cosmetics

Detoxifying Your Life by Recycling Your Cosmetics

Earth Day illustration of ocean and animals

Happy Earth Day!

Celebrate beauty by detoxifying your life – starting with your skincare routine! – which means it’s important more than ever to take a look at your life – how you dispose of trash, your makeup and skincare routine, how well you reuse old items – and see if they’re up to date. Here are a few Beauty tips from the “Beauty Expert” Donna Fay Graziano.

Expiration of cosmetics and makeup products

When your color preferences change or your lifestyle dictates a new makeup style, you’ll need to find a way to recycle unused cosmetics. And of course, all makeup has a shelf life, so there comes a time when you’ll need to recycle your cosmetics (especially the organic ones that are often made with fewer preservatives) whether you’re done with them or not. The shelf life of common makeup products is as follows:

·         Liquid eyeliner and mascara: 3-6 months

·         Nail polish and oil-free foundation: 1 year

·         Concealer, cream eye shadow and blush, cream foundation: 12-18 months

·         Lip gloss: 18-24 months

·         Blush, bronzer, (dry) eyeliner, lip liner, lipstick, and powdered eye shadow and foundation: 2 years

·         A bad odor indicates spoiled makeup, regardless of suggested expiration date!

 How to recycle cosmetics and makeup containers and cases

The containers that cosmetics are carried around in can be equally difficult to recycle, but here are some tips to make your makeup recycling job easier:

  • Make ‘em clean: Just as with any other type of recycling, your cosmetic containers should be completely clean and free of all products. As a result, you should rinse out, scoop out, and otherwise remove all product from your containers before sending them for recycling.
  • Reuse containers: If you’re clever, you may be able to turn old cosmetics containers into new things, like tiny pill containers for traveling, cases for carrying pins or jewelry on road trips, and things like that. You may also want to experiment with making your own makeup and storing it in your old containers.
  • Recycle curbside or at local centers: If you can’t reuse your old containers, send them for recycling with your other plastics, metals, glass, and so on, being sure that they will be accepted by your local recycling facility first. Things like lipstick tubes and eye shadow containers are often made of plastic #5 which is sometimes recyclable. Even aerosol containers are recyclable, so don’t throw those away!
  • Retail drop off programs: Some makeup retailers will accept used cosmetics containers and recycle them for you, so ask around to see if there’s an eco-friendly cosmetics company at your local shopping center.
  • Mail in programs: Some cosmetic companies now offer mail-in programs for recycling cosmetic packaging, which is a great option for those without adequate curbside or drop-off recycling facilities.