How To Recycle Cosmetics

Michele Zipp
Beauty & Style

green guide

how to recycle cosmetics

Photo from MAC cosmetics

Can you recycle cosmetics? Yes, you can, and there are also other ways to use makeup and beauty containers. CafeMom canagirl95 wondered about recycling makeup after she learned that cosmetics have a shelf life. She asked for suggestions in the Green Organic Natural Simple Living group. Read on to find out how long makeup lasts and how to recycle it when you're done.

According to Beauty School Directory, mascara goes bad the fastest, lasting only three months, with liquid liner lasting for about six months. Eyeshadow and blush last the longest -- two years -- with everything else lasting for a year to a year and a half. But instead of tossing cosmetics in the garbage, why not recycle when you can?


Here are some recycling suggestions:

  • seoulmom shared that when she was a kid, her grandma used to crush up her old makeup and let her color with it. Kids could really creative with mascara and liners, too.
  • MAC cosmetics has a Back to MAC program where you can return six empty MAC makeup items and you get a lipstick for free. I like this! The lipsticks are great and normally cost $14.
  • LUSH has a lot of products that are package-free, like the shampoo bars, or just wrapped in paper that can be recycled. And the containers they do use can also go in with your regular recyclables.
  • You can use makeup containers to hold other items, like homemade perfume, or maybe even use that old pot of lipgloss to hold your child's tooth for the tooth fairy. Cleaned out first, of course. 

Share your suggestions on recycling cosmetics and cosmetic containers!

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