OCT 08, 2021

How To Upcycle Your Empty Skincare Bottles

What to Do With Empty Skincare Bottles...

Upcycling 101 for Beauty Junkies

Beauty junkies who go through skincare products faster than a heat-seeking missile soars through the air face the same problem: what do you do with all those empties? Sure, the easy way out is to just toss them in the trash and forget about it. But we know the eco-warrior in you feels a tinge of guilt with that outdated approach.

Going zero waste or low-waste is not just a movement. It’s a lifestyle. It’s about thinking long-term, doing our environment a favor and preserving our planet. So what the heck does that have to do with your favorite cleanser or moisturizer?

The next time you’re tempted to throw away a skincare jar or bottle, stop. You could be holding your next decorative vase, candle or oil diffuser. Seriously. It’s all about Upcycling.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is a term used to describe the process of creatively reusing old, unwanted products. By taking the unwanted product and envisioning it in a new way, you can create an object that offers beauty, meaning and usability. It also represents an imaginatively eco-conscious approach to ‘recycling’ old beauty products. It’s easy to get started.

First, you have to…

Look at What You’ve Been Throwing Away

When you think of all the different beauty bottles you’ve been throwing away, it boggles the mind, doesn’t it? When you think of them not just as throwaway bottles but as lovely vessels for some other purpose, it’s easy to begin imagining how they could potentially be of service in your life.

For one thing, some skincare brands go to great lengths to design packaging that’s too gorgeous to part with. Can you use that old jar of cream as a dainty jewelry box? As a small planter for a succulent? As a decorative container to hold paper clips in your office? Envisioning your bottles in their new role is half the fun.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Don’t feel overwhelmed by some of the more elaborate upcycling projects you’ve seen on the blogs and social media. You don’t have to be the arts-and-crafty type to upcycle. An easy way to set yourself up for success is to think about what you’re currently lacking and how your empty beauty bottles can fill the gap. For example, maybe you’d like your pantry to feel more organized, yet in a stylish way. A few (clean) skincare jars can hold your spices, cat or dog treats, tea bags, matcha powder, vitamins, wine glass charms and more — just don’t forget to label everything so you know what’s what!

Another success trick is to walk around the house and consider which areas you want to improve or the feeling you want to achieve. Maybe you want to give your bathroom some relaxing, spa-like flair. A beauty jar can hold bath salts or mini bath bombs, while a face cleanser bottle with a pump can hold bath foam or bubbles. An old face mist can hold bath oil. And jar tops can hold tea candles. Voila! With upcycling, you can achieve that elevated spa vibe minus the elevated cost.

There’s no need to overthink upcycling. In fact, the simpler you keep your upcycling approach, the more sustainable it will be for your busy lifestyle. Have fun with it and you’ll create a routine you actually look forward to engaging in after you polish off yet another beauty bottle.

Gift What You Don’t Use

If your home is now an upcycled haven of skincare-inspired accents and you still have some empties on hand, then give them a new home. Now that you’re an expert upcycler you can use your bottles to create surprisingly fun gifts for your friends and family. Paint a jar and load it with M&M’s. Fill an old toner bottle with olive oil and herbs. Around the winter holidays, make ready-to-go hot cocoa jars complete with cocoa mix and mini marshmallows (remember to top it off with a fabulous bow). Sometimes, the best gift is the one you upcycle.

Upcycling is the New Recycling

Still throwing away used skincare bottles? Yawn. That’s the boring, old-fashioned way to part with your bottles — and you are neither boring nor old. Upcycling is the new and more fabulous version of recycling. Next time you have an empty skincare bottle in your hand, brainstorm all the different ways it could be reused. Doing so can help you enjoy a low-waste lifestyle, while repurposing your empties into something beautiful to behold.

Written by Sam Franklyn