4 easy ways to make your beauty routine more environmentally friendly


We all have it: mountains of half used products, spur-of-the-moment buys, makeup that we’re-totally-going-to-use-one-day but left sitting in a box gathering dust.

My unused beauty products have slowly piled up in a cardboard box in my hall closet—a closet I deem “eclectic” that most may call “a pile of junk.”

For a long time, I did not look in to this box. This may have been because it camouflaged itself amongst the other piles of nonsense on the shelf…but one day I finally cleaned out the closet and found it overflowing. I knew it was time to purge.

Normally, I would of just thrown everything I did not want in to the trash. But I am trying to be more mindful of my consumption habits so I took a few extra steps to ensure not everything went to waste.

My recent purge inspired me to draw up a list of easy ways to be more environmentally friendly when it comes to beauty in general. In my skincare/makeup routines I have made a few small changes that, hopefully, will go a long way in the long run.

Read below to check out some simple habits that can make a big difference over time.

Purge & Share

Break out that box of old products and set aside the non-expired/mostly there/one-time-use goods. Then text everyone you know and see if they want that old nail color you never use or that lip balm your aunt gave you that smells faintly of dead roses. 

Not a whole lot of takers of your gently used products? Well, you can always hit up Craigslist or try one of the other tips below.


Recycle Everything

You can recycle all glass and most plastic*, including makeup containers and skincare products. Simply scrape out any leftover product, wash out residue, and toss the container in your recycle bin! For oil based products that are particularly tricky to clean out, try letting the containers soak in a vinegar/baking soda mix overnight. Give it a good shake in the morning and most of the residue should pour out.

There are other recycling options that result in a substantive payoff. 

If you have any MAC cosmetic containers, you can turn in a collection of six online or in-store to get a free lipstick of your choice

In addition, Red Apple Lipstick offers an exchange program. You have the option to turn in half used cosmetics from any company, of any age or condition, and you’ll get a discount on Red Apple Lipstick products. 

*double check with your local recycling center on this one, some centers only take certain plastics



Switch to Biodegradable Makeup Remover Wipes

This was a big one for me. I felt guilty about using products on a daily basis that I disposed of after one use, however I was unwilling to switch back to Pond’s Cream or some other messy makeup remover. Therefor, I hunted down some biodegradable wipe options:


Yes To

Yes To is my #1. It costs the same as most make up wipes, comes in a large package, and can be found at any drug store, which is extra convenient. All of the

ir wipes are biodegradable, so you can mix and match whenever you need. In addition, their paper masks come in recyclable packages and the mask itself is biodegradable, so an extra plus there.

Sephora Express Cleansing Wipes

Biodegradable and an easy product to tack on to your Sephora purchases. You’re already spending $50+ on makeup, right? What’s another $10? ;)

Alba 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes

Biodegradable, accessible at any drug store, hypoallergenic, makeup remover + cleanser + toner all in one. Probably the easiest makeup remover ever (and you know how I love easy). 



RMS Beauty Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes

I have never tried RMS but I hear great things about it all the time. The wipes are compostable rayon infused with organic coconut oil. that comes individually wrapped, perfect for a gym bag or purse


There are a ton of hacks out there for DIY makeup wipes. Brit + Co has a great looking recipe that only requires 5 ingredients, here . If you make the product but do not wish to pre-soak wipes, you can use an old, cut up t-shirt as rags and wash when needed to prevent every-day disposal.

If you want more DIY wipes there’s a more succinct list here .


DIY for Days

If you’re a person with a lot of patience, you may be interested in making your own beauty products so that you can ensure a) quality b) effectiveness c) minimal environmental impact. I am busy and lazy, so I will likely not integrate DIY in to my routine. Nevertheless, it’s great for those who have the time and energy to do so!

For that off chance I do have time to DIY my skincare and makeup routines, I created a Pinterest board to steal ideas from that I bequeath on to you.

And that’s all I have for you at the moment! Do you have any suggestions on how to integrate environmentally friendly actions in to my beauty routine? Please let me know in the comments below, I’m always looking for more options.