Whether you want to earn free products, help those in need, or protect the environment, there are many reasons to to use cosmetics recycling programs!
Find out below how you can return old containers for free products, send old mascara wands to help wildlife, or donate gently used products to women-in-need (perfect for things that didn’t work out, color experiments gone wrong, or free samples you just don’t want).
Recycle Empty Containers
Your old mascara wands can help wildlife when used to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of animals (they work great because the bristles are so close together). Learn more about #smallbrushbigimpact at AppalachianWild.org and mail your cleaned mascara wands to: Appalachian Wild, P.O. Box 1211, Skyland, NC 28776
Any Aveda packaging not accepted curbside (e.g. makeup brushes, various bottles, jars, tubes, pumps) can be brought into any Aveda Experience Center retail store in the United States and placed in the Full Circle recycling bin. Also accepts caps from any brand.
bareMinerals – earn 5 FAB points per recycled product (from any brand!)
FAB Program Members are eligible to participate in bareMinerals Give Back Get Back Recycling Program at all participating bareMinerals boutique locations, as a way to earn FAB points. 5 FAB points will be awarded for every one empty item brought in to participating bareMinerals boutiques. No purchase necessary. Maximum of 5 empty items eligible to earn FAB points per customer per day. Empty full-sized makeup and skincare products from any brand are accepted as part of the bareMinerals Give Back Get Back Recycling Program. Hair and personal care items and flammable products, including, but not limited to, fragrance items, nail polish, aerosol products, or products that contain alcohol will not be accepted. FAB points will be processed and awarded within 7 business days.
Bundle your empties in groups of at least 3 and request a prepaid label to send back for recycling. Send back via UPS. Or… choose to send in your recycling via Terracycle (you may send any amount, but only shipments weighing over 1 pound are eligible to receive points).
Take advantage of the Innisfree Eco recycling program and recycle up to 5 bottles a month. You’ll receive 50 loyalty points per full-size bottle. In-store only.
Kiehl’s Since 1851 – earn free travel sizes
Recycle full-size Kiehl’s products to receive a stamp (deluxe samples & complimentary products can be returned for recycling but do not warrant a stamp). Customers will also receive one recycle count when using a Kiehl’s tote bag while shopping in a Kiehl’s retail location. Ten (10) stamps earn a Free 2.5oz Travel-size Product.
Lip Ink – earn free liquid lip color
Send in any four (4) empty full sized LIP-INK® vials and you can choose any one (1) LIP-INK® Liquid Lip Color for FREE along with FREE domestic shipping. Limit 1 per customer per year (must purchase an additional item). Note that you may to send in any number of vials for recycling but only 4 vials will be credited towards free LIP-INK® lip color.
L’Occitane en Provence – earn 10% off of a full size product
Bring back (to stores) your empty, full-sized product from L’OCCITANE (or any beauty brand) and receive 10% OFF a NEW FULL-SIZED product! PROGRAM ACCEPTED WASTE:
- Beauty packaging such as lip balm tubes, makeup remover bottles and pumps, fragrances bottles and pumps, and deodorant sticks
- Skin care packaging such as face mask packaging, refill pouches, and dispensers and tubes for soap, facial cleansers and body lotions
- Hair care packaging such as pumps and caps from shampoo and conditioner bottles, hair care dispensers and containers, hair product trigger heads, and refill pouches
Lush USA – earn free face masks
Bring back 5 empty, clean black LUSH pots to your local shop for recycling and receive a Free Fresh Face Mask
MAC Cosmetics – earn free lipstick
MAC Cosmetics recycling program is called the Back To M·A·C Program – return six (6) M·A·C primary packaging containers to a M·A·C counter or M·A·C Cosmetics Online, and receive a Free M·A·C Lipstick of Your Choice (VIVA GLAM Lipsticks and Lipglass can be recycled but do not count towards free gift)
Malin + Goetz
All Malin + Goetz packaging is recyclable and most is biodegradable. Empty products can be dropped at a recycling center or brought into either of their NYC stores.
Origins recycles cosmetic empties from any brand, everyday (you may get a free sample in exchange). Program is currently available in North America and Origins is exploring ways to expand to other regions. You will earn 25 loyaly points each time you drop-off your cosmetic empties (once per month).
Pacifica has partnered with Preserve to create an easy to use recycling program. All you need to do is send your empty and rinsed out products using our pre-paid shipping label in an envelope, box or bag of your choice (try and grab it out of your recycle bin). The BEST news is that now your product moves from being garbage to having a new life! Check out Preserve’s products here!
Schmidt’s – earn free products
Schmidt’s Naturals has an easy recycling program that rewards you with a free product! RECYCLE 5, GET 1 FREE. Simply, empty five of their sustainable glass jars, ship them back for free, receive a free deodorant of your choice!
Stowaway Cosmetics – earn store credit
Stowaway Cosmetics provides prepaid shipping labels to send them your finished products for recycling. Plus, you will receive $5 in Stowaway credit for every 3 products you return!
Eliminating the Idea of Waste® by recycling the “non-recyclable.” Whether it’s coffee capsules from your home, pens from a school, or plastic gloves from a manufacturing facility, TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste. We partner with individual collectors such as yourself, as well as major consumer product companies, retailers, manufacturers, municipalities, and small businesses across 20 different countries. See website for specific programs from these brands and more:
- Burt’s Bees
- Skyn ICELAND – receive $10 off every $40 you spend on http://www.skyniceland.com for each qualifying order you send back
- Toms of Maine
Donate Gently Used Items
Project Beauty Share accepts the following gently used items to support efforts to help women-in-need. Mail donations to: Project Beauty Share, 216 N. Bernard, Spokane, WA 99201
- Barely Used Makeup
- Facial Cleansers & Moisturizers
- Body Lotion & Sunscreen (more than 1/2 full)
- Shampoo & Conditioner (more than 1/2 full)
- Clean or New Makeup Brushes
- Perfume & Body Sprays
- Hair Styling Products
- Hair Styling Tools
- Clean Makeup Bags
Thanks You so much for this !! I wish this was more well known and advertised in the beauty industry…this info should be everywhere !
CosBar also has make-up recycling drop off bins in their stores now (even for brand they do not sell!)
This is absolutely fantastic! I had no idea cosmetic recycling exists but I do wish to support these activities. As I believe recycling are the key factor for our future (and I mean the future of our Earth). It is so great more and more brands are taking certain actions towards sustainability and I think in a short time your list on this page will become much longer – well, I hope it will 🙂
I have been working in textile industry and it is one of the biggest nature poluters. So it is a big change to see the increasing popularity of sustainability policies also among brands in textile industry.
Hi Arta, Thank you so much for supporting these activities that are both good for the planet, and can also earn you some nice incentive gifts! Our individual actions do add up!!
Warm Regards, Alyce
Wow, this is a great resource to share with the wife! I had no idea there were so many ways to recycle makeup and my wife always keeps her old containers. We also have an ample amount of gently used items to donate. I think it’s really cool that small brushes are so handy for helping wildlife! Thanks!
Hi Jordan, Thanks so much for sharing this information with your wife! Those items you all won’t be using will surely make a difference for someone in need.
Warm Regards, Alyce
Recycling makes so much sense. Anything to help wildlife. I have at least 3 old mascara wands that I can clean and send.
The Colgate program to turn recycled toothbrushes into school supplies like backpacks, pens, and notebooks, is phenomenal.
There’s so much waste going on when all these throw away things can be recycled. We just need to educate people to let them know where to send the stuff.
Offering free travel size gifts as an incentive is a really great idea too!
Thank you for a well informative article on this.
Hi Gina, I’m so glad to hear that this is helpful and that you can already contribute and participate in these programs! Recycling makes sense on so many levels, but the added bonus free gifts in a few cases just sweetens the deal. 🙂
Thanks for visiting MakeupBonuses.com. Warm Regards, Alyce
Thanks for the info. I had no idea that there were certain parts of makeup containers that were not recyclable, let alone could be traded for bonuses. This is a great site. Can you tell me if there are also bonuses for such products like Cover Girl or Maybeline? I do not by makeup very often but my oldest and my sister in law do and knowing if there were bonuses on the products that they buy would be great.
Hello! I was also surprised to find some of these recycle programs, and I figured that others would be interested in learning about them as well. To date, I have only seen 1 bonus (on CoverGirl) on those 2 brands specifically, but Target had a Multi-Brand offer back in December with some similar brands. Thanks for visiting MakeupBonuses.com!
Hello again, Just a quick note to follow up and let you know that Ulta added a CoverGirl GWP today. Check out the details on the tags page for CoverGirl!